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Matalan opens franchises in European push

Matalan has made its debut in Gibraltar with two franchise store openings, as part of a push to expand its retail presence in Europe.

The store at John Mackintosh Square sells women’s and men’s clothing, while another store on nearby Main Street sells homeware and kidswear.

The two shops, launched with franchise partner Pisa Group last week, each span sales areas of around 5,400 sq ft.

Matalan also opened two stores in Malta with franchise partner Camilleri Group last week, bringing its store count in the country to four.

The new shops are a four-floor store in Valletta measuring 8,100 sq ft, and a single-floor shop in Birkirkara covering 13,000 sq ft, both stocking its full men’s, women’s, children’s and home ranges.

There are around 60 people employed at the Malta stores and roughly 30 people in Gibraltar.

Matalan international director Damian Hopkins told Drapers: “In terms of our international strategy, we pick countries where our brand has recognition and where there is high brand awareness, which is true of both Malta and Gibraltar [given] their close ties to Great Britain.”

He added that expansion to new markes through more franchise agreements are “in the pipeline”.

Matalan initially launched in Malta in March 2017 with two franchise stores in Sliema and Fgura with Camilleri Group.

In addition to Matalan, Camilleri Group also operates franchises for retailers including Mothercare, Asda’s George, M & Co and Miss Selfridge.

Separately, Pisa Group operates stores for Peacocks and Bonmarché in Gibraltar.

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