Poundland eyes 50 more stores as owners seek to sell business
More “sensible” high street rents have strengthened Poundland’s plans to add 50 new stores next year – giving a boost to its private equity owners in their bid for a sale of the Willenhall-based business.
The discount retailer is adding the new shops in its next financial year – creating 2,000 jobs – as it keeps up last year’s rapid pace of expansion which saw it add 61 new shops.
Poundland chief executive Jim McCarthy said rental conditions on the high street were helping Poundland’s ambitious store opening plans, which he believes could eventually see it reach 650 stores throughout the UK.
The announcement comes as the firm’s private equity owner Advent International has appointed advisers to review options for an exit of the company, which it bought for £50 million in 2002.
Mr McCarthy said: “We have experienced a much more realistic property market with better conditions from landlords. We are seeing some sensible conditions in terms of rental expectations and that is helping to accelerate our growth.
“And when they let a Poundland, it’s easier to let the adjacent stores because of the footfall that we drive.”
Mr McCarthy said the new stores would not be aimed at one particular consumer group or any type of retail area. “Poundland now has a broad appeal across all socio-demographic groups so we don’t target any particular type of area.
“We know that where there are lots of people, Poundland performs best.”
Mr McCarthy said sterling’s weakness was not a major worry for the firm which imports one third of the goods it sells.
“We are being sensible and we are managing our foreign exchange sensibly,” he said. “It’s a bit more of a challenge when the dollar is in its current state, but we have long experience of handling that.