Matalan reverts to direct marketing after dabbling in TV

Value fashion group Matalan has admitted it made a mistake last year by sacrificing some of its traditional direct marketing spend for a TV campaign.

'We probably didn't get the balance right between above and below the line,' said new chief executive John King. He added that the emphasis would be put back on direct marketing to Matalan's 9.1 million members.

The retailer has reduced the number of clothing brands available next autumn from nine to six in menswear, and by a similar amount in womenswear.

King said the brand profile would be built around good, better and best offers.

A refit programme will follow assessment of trials at St Helens and Warrington. A different store design is being rolled out to new stores.

Matalan revealed pre-tax profit up 9 per cent to£117.4 million on turnover up 21 per cent to£1 billion, but refused to divulge current trading.

King said like-for-likes were 'on plan', but would not deny they were negative.