Poundland to expand into eurozone

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The Independent Online

Bargain chain Poundland is to expand into the eurozone after today announcing plans for a number of new stores, starting in debt-ridden Ireland.

The new venture will shun the "Euroland" label - thus avoiding the impact of price volatility in the region - and will instead be called Dealz.

There are plans for six stores in Ireland before March in a roll out set to create 180 jobs and two million euro (£1.7 million) in investment.

Poundland chief executive Jim McCarthy said there was "an appetite from Irish consumers for a discount retailer".

The company has expanded in the UK from 263 stores to 347 over the last year as more middle-class customers turn to the chain in the tough climate.

Its 3,000-strong list of products ranges from Kodak batteries and 1.5kg packs of sugar through to reading glasses, tents and Christmas lights - all for £1.

Dealz will have greater price control without associating itself directly with the euro.

Mr McCarthy said: "Finding a European brand name for an established UK brand was no easy task. It was important to ensure we decided on a brand name that was going to resonate with our Republic of Ireland customers and in the future, enable us to expand the brand in mainland Europe."

Poundland, which claims to serve 3.5 million customers, plans to add at least 50 new stores during the 2011/2012 financial year, creating around 2,000 new jobs.

The company reported an 81% increase in operating profits last June to £21.5 million on a £510 million turnover and is understood to be on course to deliver record results this month.

In 2010, Poundland was acquired by Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm.