New Look and Matalan overtaken
The acquisition of 120 Littlewoods stores by Associated British Foods (ABF) has catapulted its Primark chain into second place in the value clothing sector.

According to Verdict Research, the acquisition means that Primark will leapfrog New Look and Matalan to control 2.6 per cent market share.

However, Primark is still a long way from rivalling dominant player George, which has 3.69 per cent of the value clothing market.

The value clothing market was worth£6.4 billion last year, according to Verdict, with the top seven retailers in the sector accounting for sales of£5.2 billion. The value sector accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the clothing sector as a whole.

ABF acquired the Littlewoods shops yesterday at a price of slightly more than£400 million. It intends to keep 48 stores and sell the remaining 72. New Look and Arcadia are both in the frame as possible buyers.