Matalan promotions helped draw in Christmas shoppers

Matalan has posted an increase in Christmas sales as it benefited from discounting and a surge in online spending.

In the five weeks to December 29, the budget retailer saw a total revenue increase of 4% to £148 million, with stores sales rising 1.6% and online 33.3%.

However, full price sales fell 0.5% as it embarked on a promotional blitz.

Boss Jason Hargreaves said: “In the run up to Christmas the market became increasingly distressed, and we benefited from a planned increase in our promotional sales mix.

“We also tactically used our database of 12 million active customers to target exclusive offers and discounts in further support of the trade plan.

“Growing sales over Christmas by 4%, including 33% growth online, without material dilution to our full price position is a testament to the strength and relevance of our offer. Savvy customers again proved that they will always seek out real value.”

In the third quarter, covering the 12 weeks to November 24, Matalan posted a 4.9% increase in sales to £308.3 million.

Full priced sales increased 7.3%, but earnings slipped from £44.9 million to £40 million.

Matalan now expects full year earnings to come in in the range of £100 million to £102 million, down from the £104.5 million last year.

Looking ahead, Mr Hargreaves added: “Although cautious for the year ahead in what we expect to be a very tough market, our approach is clearly working.”