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Matalan to update early on trading

Matalan will release its trading update to the market early this year following a good performance which bucked the turbulent trend in the value sector.

Chief executive Alistair McGeorge told Drapers he would release Matalan’s latest figures before the usual December scheduling, but warned that the industry was facing some of its toughest trading in years.

He said: “We’ve been trading OK and we expect to release some good figures before the scheduled date of December. But I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that April has been one of the toughest months in retail for a long time.”

McGeorge added: “Most retailers aren’t sure how to handle the downturn because they’ve never experienced one. They think the answer is to cut costs, but what does that mean? You need to think about what is best for your business model.”

McGeorge said the big players would come out “OK” from the economic downturn, but that profits would suffer.

He said he was confident in Matalan’s offer and its differentiation from the rest of the value market. “We offer something different to our rivals, and the best value,” he said.

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