It’s 3.30pm and Poundland in Shephers Bush, west London is full – mothers, students, pensioners and small children all prowling the aisles hunting for cheap deals.
The chain is fast becoming the most viable shopping option for families who are feeling the pinch. Mop heads, notepads, shampoo and jelly sweets can all be snapped up for, yes, just £1 each.
“I shop here because I have four kids,” said Danielle Noble, 30, as her youngsters sprint past towards the toy aisle. “They love the toys and when you haven’t got a lot a pound goes a long way. The toys usually break by the end of the day, but they like them.”
Only yards away is a shop called Poundworld, boasting similar deals. But despite the competition, Poundland has built up a loyal following.
“I’ve been to Poundworld a few times, but I always find myself back at Poundland,” said Faye Murray, 32. “I get everyday stuff and the kids love coming here with their Dad to buy sweets for the cinema.”
But the stigma surrounding budget shops is blatant. “We don’t usually shop here,” said Sharon Jeffrey, 38. “We just popped in before the cinema. We were just saying we’ll pop into Peter Jones instead later.”