Matalan to support Bangladesh factory collapse victims

Skelmersdale-based discount retailer Matalan has offered assistance to the victims of the factory collapse in Bangladesh, where some suppliers had previously produced its clothing.

MatalanThe eight-storey Rana Plaz garment factory collapsed last week, killing at least 386 and injuring more than 2,500. Matalan said: "We offer our condolences to all those affected by this tragic event and our thoughts and prayers are with the community."

Companies using the factory's capacities  included Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tac, Ether Tex, New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms, producing several million shirts, pants and other garments ever year in total.

Matalan said in a statement that whilst New Wave had been a supplier, it did not have any current production with the company. The last time New Wave supplied Matalan was in February, a spokesman said.

"We can confirm that we are working closely with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Export Association (BGMEA) and our local team in Bangladesh to provide financial and other support to help those affected," read a statement.

"We remain in close contact with our agents in Dhaka who liaise with New Wave on our behalf and will look to provide both practical and financial assistance via this local team."

Early reports suggest the building's owner only had permission to build five storeys. He has been arrested and is being questioned by police. Matalan was established by John Hargreaves in the 1970s. Based in Skelmersdale, it now trades from 5 million square feet in over 200 stores.