Matalan will launch premium womenswear brand Fenn Wright Manson’s FWM diffusion line and a new own-label sportswear brand in selected stores for autumn 15.
Matalan soft-launched 17 pieces from the new FWM by Fenn Wright Manson line on its website in May. A larger collection will debut in 60 of its 217 stores by the beginning of August.
FWM has a lower price point than the main collection. A fit-and-flare V-neck dress in a jacquard print – made of 62% cotton, 37% polyester and 1% metallised fibres – is priced at £35, while a similar style on the Fenn Wright Manson site, made of 97% cotton and 3% elastane, is priced at £149.
Matalan’s founder John Hargreaves’ daughter, Maxine Hargreaves-Adams, bought Fenn Wright Manson out of administration in 2012 for an undisclosed sum. She relaunched it in 29 stores and online for spring 15.
Matalan is also trialling a new own-brand sportswear label called Souluxe in its St Helens, Lancashire, store. The collection has been designed for “the modern sporty family” and the St Helens trial currently occupies approximately 2,500 sq ft of space, with 70% dedicated to womenswear, 20% to menswear and 10% to kidswear. Matalan plans to roll this out to around 50 stores in October.
The retailer, which typically trades from out-of-town locations, made its debut on London’s Oxford Street last week, with a 16,130 sq ft store at numbers 149 to 151. The three-floor store stocks womenswear, kidswear, footwear and accessories. It was opened by designer Julien MacDonald, who designs a range for the retailer, on June 5.