Matalan to leave Skelmersdale

Matalan, one of Skelmersdale’s biggest employers, intends to move headquarters to Knowsley, adjacent to its current distribution centre.

The company has 1,200 staff in the town and hopes to be able to move the positions across locations, although discussions are still underway about how individuals will be affected by the move.

If planning permission is granted, any move would not take place before late 2014. In the meantime, the company will continue to operate from its Skelmersdale base.

Chairman John Hargreaves founded the company in 1985 after returning from the USA impressed with the idea of out-of-town retail outlets. The first store opened in Preston that year.

Later, in 1997, the company outgrew its Bamber Bridge home and acquired larger premises in Skelmersdale, where it has been based ever since. The company quickly became a staple fixture of the new town, which was established in 1961.

Today, Matalan has 213 stores in the UK, seven overseas franchise stores and an increasing online presence.

A Matalan spokesman said: “We are very excited about the possibilities presented by our office move to Knowsley. It is a fitting location and a substantial space that will allow us to increase our organisational capacity and make real headway towards achieving our growth goals.”