John Hargreaves came up with the Matalan concept after visiting America in the 1970s and seeing out-of-town superstores selling discounted homewares and clothing. Today the company trades from more than 200 out-of-town locations. After eight years of being listed on the stock exchange, the Lancashire company was taken private in 2006 by Hargreaves in a deal that valued it at £817m. The retailer experienced a tough autumn as the warm weather forced discounting of slow-moving clothing lines. Even so, under chief executive Darren Blackhurst, sales were £1.1billion in the year to February.

This profile reflects the company at time of publication and does not reflect any changes that may have subsequently occurred. Fast Track and its sponsors do not endorse, guarantee or recommend investment in any of the companies.

Company details
ActivityValue retailer
Sales £m*1,118
Profit £m*91
Year endFeb 12
Principal shareholdersHargreaves family (100%)

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure