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Matalan is a must for the economy minded family
Member Name: lak11
Date: 12/03/10, updated on 08/06/13 (202 review reads)
Advantages: Reasonable in price and quality with a good selection of clothing for the family plus homewares.
Disadvantages: Gets busy
Matalan is a chain of stores which sells clothes for all the family plus homewares. They also sell a limited range books such as cookery books, travel guides and school age learn at home books. These are very hit and miss though.
They have an extensive range of accessories, shoes for all the family and seasonal gifts and wrapping paper, suitcases and more. Matalan stores are usually located just outside the main shopping centre with their own car park. These stores are usually housed in a warehouse type building.
Their clothing is cheap and varied with all ages catered for. They are fairly fashionable but as I mentioned all ages are catered for so some clothes are more fashionable than others.
When you first shop at Matalan you fill in a form and pay about one pound ( This may be different amount now as this was a few years ago) and are issued with a small credit card sized card which keep and then show when paying for purchases. Without the card you would pay a higher price.
Most of the stock is their own brands but they do also sell Lee Cooper, Wrangler, Jeff Banks and Sloggi, Wonderbra and Playtex underwear. This is only to give you an idea as there are more well known brands on sale at Matalan.
Now I like Matalan. It is very useful to me BUT if you're looking for great quality here, you MAY find it but not in most of their stock. I would say the quality of their own brands are average to good. If you shop here a lot you will soon know which lines are the better buys. I tend to buy things that I just want cheaply for a holiday and don't mind too much if it isn't that long lasting. Also it's ideal for families with young children as ,they grow out of things usually before they wear out. I find the quality better than Primark. I think mostly it provides value fro money.
Matalan tends to become very busy, especially at weekends. I only visit this store if I have several things to buy as I know, I will probably have to queue for a while. However, their queues are fairly fast moving. I did find last Christmas it wasn't so busy in my nearest store but thought this was generally true of the marketplace and put this down to the credit crunch.
I usually visit Matalan a couple of times leading up to Christmas and find I can easily fill a trolley and tick many items off on my large shopping list. Last Christmas I bought items from most departments and several seasonal gifts which were being offered at four for three. These were gifts such as toiletry sets, mugs filled with sweets and teapot sets. I'm sure you know the type of thing. I also managed to obtain stocking fillers- junk jewellery, purses and wallets etc.
I also visit a few times before my summer holiday and buy cheap ladies' and men's vest tops, T.shirts, underwear, sarongs, nightwear, sunscreen and after sun, beach towels and I've even bought a suitcase here to put it all in. I've purchased ridiculously cheap bikinis for my daughter, as teenagers like to have a good selection to show off their tan!
I wouldn't particularly recommend the clothes here. As I have said, they are adequate and ideal, if, like me you are economy concious. However what I would recommend is the branded underwear. It isn't always easy to find the right size but if you do you're on to a bargain. The 'Sloggi' bras are always especially cheap here and if I see my size I will buy two at a time as I can't find them as cheap anywhere else.
Also, I would recommend some items in the Matalan homeware range. Last Christmas we were giving our bathroom a make over and had previously bought some beige towels from Poundstretcher. They were as expected quality wise so I decided to buy some better quality towels in chocolate brown to contrast, but not clash, with the beige towels. I bought two bath sheets, a bath towel and a hand towel in Egyptian cotton. I think the bath sheets were only £8.00 each. They are much better in quality than the Poundstretcher towels (thicker and absorbent) and have washed wonderfully.
To sum up I would say for a family shop, particularly in readiness for a holiday, then Matalan is a must. In my opinion it is one of the better lower priced stores. I would rate it much above Primark and Peacocks, though for most of my clothing I would shop at Debenhams. I tend to buy a decent skirt from Debenhams and, a T shirt or two to match from Matalan. This helps to eke the budget out somewhat. I much prefer the layout of this store to Primark, for instance. Although it can be crowded the layout usually consists of aisles and so one can manoeuvre a trolley , wheelchair or buggy around manageably.
Summary: Always get a trolley-you never know what you'll end up buying.