Will canny ranging and low prices help the retailer compete with the supermarkets?
Matalan stood out strongly against other retailers yesterday, as a number of fashion chains unveiled their spring/summer ranges. The retailer showed off its womenswear, menswear and childrenswear collections.

Analysts believe the ranges will stand the retailer in good stead, as it attempts to consolidate its turnaround strategy. Evolution analyst Nick Bubb said: 'Several other retailers had spring reviews yesterday, but it sounds like Matalan got the best response. It should trade much better than last year through to Christmas. Matalan is a decent each-way bet given the trading recovery taking place and the hopes of a bid from Asda next year.'

The retailer's pricing strategy for the coming season also encouraged a positive response. Seymour Pierce analyst Rhys Williams said: 'Overall, the product did look good, and at such outstanding value we believe that Matalan is more than competitive against the high street.'

However, Williams warned that with the retailer's refit programme still in progress, its ranges could suffer from poor visual merchandising at some stores. He said: 'While Matalan is rolling out a store refit programme, some of its stores remain unappealing and do not show the product in its best light.'