John Hargreaves came up with the Matalan concept after visiting America in the 1970s and seeing out-of-town retail superstores selling discounted homewares and clothing. Today the company trades from more than 200 out-of-town locations. Following a number of years on the stock exchange, Hargreaves took the Lancashire company private in 2006 in a deal that valued it at £817m. In April this year, a £525m refinancing was secured, with the company completing a £235m share buy-back from the shareholders, Hargreaves and his family. Under chief executive Alistair McGeorge, sales were £1,120m in the year to February 2010.

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Company details
ActivityValue retailer
Sales £m*1,120
Profit £m*187
Year endFeb 10
Principal shareholdersJohn Hargreaves and family (100%)

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure