Matalan must boost its fashion credentials if it is to compete with rivals when it opens on Oxford Street, retail analysts have said.
This week Drapers revealed Matalan had signed for its first store on London’s busiest shopping street. The value retailer has taken a 15,000 sq ft unit at number 149/151 on a 15-year lease paying a rent of £11.7m a year. It will open in spring 15.
However, analysts have warned Matalan must stock a fashion-forward edit if it is to lure shoppers away from competitors on the street such as Primark and New Look.
Verdict Retail analyst Honor Westnedge said: “It will be difficult to condense its range, but Oxford Street targets the more fashionable shopper and Matalan needs to make sure its offer is suited to the demographic. It needs to look at its sub-brands to ensure it is looking after its fashion-led shopper. The Abbey Clancy range will draw that younger customer in.”
As well as this collaboration, sub-brands include Falmer Heritage for women, plus-size Rogers & Rogers and men’s line Taylor & Wright.
Anusha Couttigane, retail analyst at Conlumino, said the move would give the business more prominence, but it would be “playing catch-up”.
“It is a latecomer to central London and, with Oxford Street already bracketed by Primark, it is unlikely to outperform value-level rivals, which have also built much stronger reputations for fashionability.”
“Even value players with a volume-led strategy pay close attention to ensuring the collections offered at these flagships are well on trend. Matalan has been lacking these credentials. However, its latest collaboration with Julien Macdonald will give it far more credibility.”
Last autumn Matalan made its high street debut in Liverpool, with a store in Williamson Square. It has since signed for a store in Cardiff city centre, at 43 Queen Street, which will open later this year. Managing director Jason Hargreaves said: “This new store underpins our strategy – servicing the way modern families shop by making the brand more accessible.”