Former Asda chief executive Allan Leighton has been appointed chairman of value department store retailer Matalan.
Leighton, who was also formerly chairman of value fashion chain Peacocks before it fell into adminstration and subsequently bought by Edinburgh Woollen Mill, will succeed John Mills in the role. Leighton is also chairman at footwear retailer Office and Danish jewellery company Pandora.
It is expected his experience in the value sector will support Matalan’s growth going forward.
Mills will become deputy chairman.
Leighton said: “Matalan is a great company with a strong brand and management team. I look forward to working with the team to build on its fantastic reputation as a family retailer.”
The value retailer posted a 4.1% jump in sales in the second quarter to £269.2m. EBITDA was up to £17.3m compared with £13.6m the previous year.
Matalan chief executive Darren Blackhurst said: “We continue to deliver outstanding value for our customers and have navigated our way through a challenging quarter, achieving robust results in a tough, competitive market.”
He added that the retailer remains cautious and as it launches Autumn/Winter collections it will continue to focus on quality, service and value.
Matalan is preparing for a busy Christmas this year, hiring 5,000 extra Christmas staff, double that of last year.
Last week, the retailer received planning permission to build its new headquarters at Knowsley Industrial Park. It is currently located at Skelmersdale and will not relocate to the new site before 2014.
A spokeswoman for the retailer said: “The new premises will not only provide staff with an improved working environment, it will also provide the increased capacity we require to meet our ambitious plans to grow the business.”
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