Online sales boost retail giant Matalan’s revenue and profits

Matalan’s sales jumped to nearly £300million in its third quarter financial year, while the retailer’s profits also jumped after being boosted by its online operations.

The Merseyside-headquartered retailer recorded revenue of £291.4m for the 13 weeks to November 27, 2021, compared to £244.8m for the same period in 2020.

In the three completed quarters of its current financial year, Matalan’s revenue totaled £777.9m, down from £578.1m.

READ MORE: Matalan partners with THG Ingenuity to drive “digital transformation” in 2022

The company’s pre-tax profits fell from £1.7m to £10.6m in the third quarter.

Its pre-tax profit for the three quarters totaled £11m, compared to a loss of £76.7m for the same period in 2020.

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Executive Chairman Steve Johnson said the results “reflect a strong performance in what continues to be challenging circumstances, not just for us but for the wider industry.”

He added: “The inflow of stock has experienced delays and volatility, which has negatively impacted availability for customers.

“In addition, the UK logistics and labor markets have also suffered their own levels of severe disruption, all adding significant additional costs to retailers.

“I am pleased with how our business has responded to these challenges, demonstrating unprecedented levels of agility to get inventory to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“When the ranges became available, there was an overwhelmingly positive customer response, with stocks turning faster than ever before.

“Reaction to our women’s ranges has been particularly strong, although we know that with a more consistent level of availability we could have even more satisfied the high level of customer demand we are seeing for quality, design and the value for which we are renowned.

“Thanks to this strong customer reaction and despite the late arrival of stock in the UK, we were still able to increase full price sales in the third quarter by more than 10%.

“Our strong inventory management disciplines also allowed us to effectively reshape our inventory mix over the fall months and enter the main winter sale on Boxing Day with lower volumes than in recent years. , thus protecting the margins.

“We successfully completed the first phase of our multi-year digital transformation program with the implementation of online batch picking and sorting automation at our Knowsley warehouse in October. This is in addition to the in-store online fulfillment capability that we rolled out in 2020.

“Together, these investments have enabled a significant scale of our online channel over the past two years, with annual online revenue now exceeding £200m.

“To further advance our ambition to be a true multi-brand omnichannel lifestyle retailer, in December we announced a long-term partnership with THG Ingenuity, the market leader in end-to-end technology solutions.

“Later in 2022, we plan to migrate to the high-performance Ingenuity platform to support and accelerate greater online growth through a host of customer-focused features that will transform the user experience.

“Our large and spacious out-of-town stores with convenient free parking continue to be a safe and attractive destination for customers.

“Our stores are highly complementary to an expanded online channel and together they provide more than 11 million savvy customers with convenient and flexible access to our ranges.

“We will therefore also continue to invest in our store portfolio in the coming years, further improving the store environment and proposing to capitalize on what we see as an opportunity to further expand the range and choice for customers in relevant and adjacent categories.

“We are excited about the upcoming opportunities and growth avenues in both in-store and online channels as we further expand our capabilities, while adding new own-brand lines and growing our popular stable of third-party brands.

“Matalan continues to evaluate alternatives and monitor market conditions regarding a potential refinancing of its outstanding debt.

“Thank you to all of our colleagues, suppliers and partners who continue to work incredibly hard during these challenging times, to serve our customers and seize the tremendous opportunities ahead.”

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David A. Albanese