Matalan sales slither as snow keeps buyers away
Wednesday 26 January 2011
Matalan, the fashion and homewares retailer, suffered a sharp fall in sales over Christmas after the heavy snow hampered shoppers' efforts to reach its out-of-town stores.
But the retailer, which has 209 UK stores and five overseas, boasted that its "aggressive tactical" price promotions had mitigated the risk of being left with unsold stock – known as terminal stock – and allowed it to delay its clearance sale until Boxing Day. This helped it end December with more than £100m of cash on its balance sheet.
Despite this, Matalan joined a long-list of chains in blaming the snow for dire trading. Retailers from Mothercare to HMV cited the severe weather for profit warnings earlier this month.
For the 19 weeks to 8 January, Matalan's like-for-like sales tumbled by 4.5 per cent. Paul Gilbert, the retailer's finance director and acting chief executive, said: "The extreme weather experienced in December was frustrating, however, we have managed the terminal stock risk and our cash balances well." Over the 39 weeks to 27 November, the retailer's sales rose by 0.7 per cent to £836m, down by 0.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis. Its underlying earnings for the year to date are down marginally to £134.9m. Matalan opened seven new stores over the period.
The chain continues to search for a new chief executive, following the departure of Alistair McGeorge last year. On the outlook, Mr Gilbert, who is a candidate for the top job, said: "2011 will be demanding and our focus will be on maintaining our price competitiveness, driving further efficiency into our cost base, continuing to invest in new stores and growing our customer base."
- 1 Dentist who illegally killed Cecil the lion blames local guides for the scandal
- 2 Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
- 3 Norwich paedophile ring: Woman at centre of gang who made children 'sexual play things' guilty of 23 offences
- 4 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 5 Walter Palmer: American dentist revealed as the killer of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe
Dentist who illegally killed Cecil the lion blames local guides for the scandal
Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
Norwich paedophile ring: Woman at centre of gang who made children 'sexual play things' guilty of 23 offences
Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
Walter Palmer: American dentist revealed as the killer of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
iJobs Money & Business
£22500 - £24500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound and outbound calls with...
£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...
£40 - 45k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Research Associate / Research Anal...
£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Summary: The Green Recruitm...