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Matalan brings 100 jobs to Glasgow

© Evening Times
Originally published: 26.06.2006
by Graeme Murray

Budget fashion chain Matalan, better known for its out-of-town stores, is to open in the heart of Glasgow, in a two-floor store in the shopfronts of a new multi-storey car park in Jamaica Street.

It's the first time the firm has launched a city store in Scotland.

The shop will employ around 100 full-time and part-time staff with managers brought in from other stores in the west of Scotland.

The company, based in Lancashire, has 190 stores in the UK and already has an outlet in Darnley, Glasgow, and towns including Coatbridge, Linwood, Clydebank and Kilmarnock.

But bosses say the new leased premises, which cover 26,000sq ft, are part of a plan to take the firm upmarket.

In addition to clothing for men, women and kids, it will sell homeware including chairs, cushions, crockery, linen and bathroom items.

The new store is among a handful to be opened across the UK in city centres and represents a change of policy for the firm best known for warehouses in out-oftown retail parks.

Regional director Mike Jeans said: "Glasgow is a city we've looked to for a long time and I think there's an opportunity to do something there.

"If you look at the volume of people who go into the city centre, there's a big heartland we could capitalise on.

"Many people perceive that we just sell cheap ranges but we also work with designers such as Jeff Banks and the discerning customer can get good quality at a good price."

The opening of the new store - scheduled for August - coincides with Primark, which already has a huge store in Sauchiehall Street, preparing to open a second city centre store.

Matalan bosses said the store is not going head-to-head with Primark, set to open at the Argyle Street site where Littlewoods used to be.

Last year Matalan axed 300 staff as part of a radical restructuring move to cut costs and save GBP15million a year. It has since tried to transform its fortunes with celebrity-led advertising campaigns.

TV presenter Melanie Sykes and Welsh rugby hero Gavin Henson - Charlotte Church's boyfriend - were recruited in March in a bid to reinvent the brand.


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