Discount fashion chain focuses on cost management
Value fashion retailer Matalan's like-for-like sales plummeted 7.5 per cent in the 18 weeks to July 3 compared with the same period last year.

Total sales fell 2.5 per cent, the company revealed today, blaming tough trading across the sector. It said: 'Our sales performance in the first four months of the year has been particularly challenging and has been impacted by subdued consumer spending and strong comparatives last year.'

Working capital management remains a major focus, the retailer said, and stock levels are being tightened to reduce its exposure to markdowns.

The supply chain is being rationalised with the opening of a distribution centre at Corby and the closure this month of a centre at Winwick.

A full review of the company's cost base has been undertaken, which is expected to generate annualised savings of up to£15 million. A small proportion of the figure will be gained this financial year.

As part of the continuing development of Matalan's board, Geoff Brady has been appointed non-executive deputy chairman.