Fashion retailer Matalan is battling stock issues as a result of the attacks on container ships in the Red Sea, Retail Week can reveal.

Matalan store Cricklewood

Retail Week understands that supplies of some of Matalan’s products are being delayed as a result of the attacks as ships are having to reroute around the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.

This comes after a source told Retail Week last month that fashion retailers were among those “worrying” about the potential knock-on effects of instability in the Middle East feeding through to UK consumers by the spring.

A Matalan spokesperson said: “Like countless other businesses, we are being affected by the disruption in the Red Sea.

“We have put plans in place to minimise the impact on our customers and are monitoring the situation closely.”

Matalan declined to comment on the product categories being impacted and did not disclose any details of the plans it has put in place.

The problems in the Red Sea started in December last year as Houthi rebels in Yemen began attacking vessels in the Gulf region in support of Hamas.

The Red Sea route is the shortest from Asia to Europe via the Suez Canal, with the rerouting of ships likely adding at least 10 days to shipping times as well as extra costs including fuel and crew time.