All change for Ireland as Poundland sets up shop

 

It's the one place on the high street where you never have to ask: "How much does this cost?" Whether it's a pregnancy test, a pair of reading glasses, a dozen batteries, a camping knife or a bottle of bleach, everything in Poundland will set you back just that – a pound.

In these testing times it is a formula that has helped the brand expand at a rate of knots while other high-street giants have struggled to keep up their footfall. Now the bosses behind the bargain chain hope to work the same magic on the Republic of Ireland with plans to open six new stores in a deal worth £1.7m as the beginning of a wider expansion into Europe.

Poundland is remaining tight-lipped on whether every item at the stores will cost one euro, currently the equivalent of 87p. But bosses have admitted that the brand name will not be Euroland, as they have opted instead for "Dealz".

"We can trademark the name Dealz whereas we can't with the one spent with an 's'," said Poundland's chief executive, Jim McCarthy, when asked yesterday whether the new name might cause a few groans amongst linguistic purists. "But we did research on both variants in the Republic and mainland Europe and 'Dealz' emerged the clear winner."

Retail analysts have also pointed out that the name Dealz allows Poundland to be more flexible about its pricing system, charging more than a euro if necessary. Mr McCarthy would not be drawn on pricing, citing that doing so would give his future competitors room to react to the firm's arrival.

The expansion will cap yet another year of impressive growth at a time when many high-street stores are struggling to encourage shoppers to loosen their purse strings. Poundland stores have been opening in the UK at the rate of one a week. There are now 347 stores nationwide serving 182m customers every year.

Part of Poundland's success is down to timing. The company was launched in 1990 by Steve Smith and Dave Dodd. At the time, most of the fixed-price stores were independently run and tended to be found in poorer towns and suburbs. By 2002 the chain had grown to a modest 70 stores when the founding partners sold out to a private equity firm. Then came the 2008 credit crunch, setting off the worst economic crisis in decades and forcing shoppers to become increasingly savvy about bargain hunting.

In the past two years the brand has drawn in increasing numbers of middle-class shoppers. Stores have been opening in well-heeled areas such as Twickenham, Cirencester and Windsor. "We have two different types of shoppers," said Mr McCarthy. "Those who need to shop with us and those who choose to do so. A few years back all the talk at parties was how much money you make off a property deal. Now it's all about deals and savings. People are proud about saving money and spending sensibly."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links