Matalan bets big on home sector with launch of dedicated brand overseen by Epiphany co-founder

Matalan has launched an online-only home brand, Matalan Direct, which will operate as a separate entity offering furniture and larger home items.

The retailer already offers home accessories alongside its core clothing business. Managing director Jason Hargreaves said 12.5 million consumers are already “highly engaged” with that part of the business, paving the way for greater investment.

"Matalan Direct feels like a very natural expansion for Matalan and its positioning will complement our 'Made for Modern Families' proposition and offer customers the quality that they have come to expect from us,” he added.

Based in Leeds, it will be overseen by former Epiphany co-founder and entrepreneur Shane Quigley.

It comes following a turbulent two years for the retailer. In 2014 it began a £492m debt refinancing programme amid declining sales and profits.

The decision to keep Matalan Direct as an online-only proposition is reflective of online's strong performance. Its most recent figures, covering the 53 weeks to 1 March 2014, show sales increased 32.9 per cent compared with the previous year, with click-and-collect orders making up 50 per cent of sales.

"By opting for an online platform, Matalan Direct will be able to offer an ever-expanding range of products without the restrictions of in-store on-boarding constraints,” added Hargreaves.

“Our target is to give customers maximum choice and convenience whilst remaining affordable which is why our range will retain our value price point but will also offer options to suit any budget."

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