Business boom for bargain stores

SHOPPERS have resorted to bargain hunting following the worst festive period for retailers in 30 years.

SHOPPERS have resorted to bargain hunting following the worst festive period for retailers in 30 years.

Some value stores seem to be benefiting from the steady demise of their competition with cut-price Poundland in particular reaping the rewards.

The bargain retailer recently announced plans to add 35 stores to its already established 200 branch chain - creating a proposed 1,200 jobs - after seeing profits more than double to �8m on sales of �330m.

Customers can expect to find a wide range of products on the shelves, from dog food to detergent, cutlery to key rings. Julie Scott, store manager at Poundland, in Carr Street, said that national figures have been reflected on a local level. She said: “Business is booming at the moment and we seem to be on the up-and-up.


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“Business is steadily increasing year on year.

“With Woolworths not being at this end of town anymore we are seeing some more customers come in.”

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Poundland, which sells everything for �1, began life in 1990 as a single store owned by a father and son team in Burton-on-Trent.

The business was sold six years ago to a US-based private equity group and sales have soared since.

The store's strong trading was shared by other value-for-money retailers in Ipswich such as TJ Hughes, while the likes of Woolwoths and Zavvi have suffered.

A spokesman for Wilkinson said the company is performing in line with expectations, while a sales manager at the Buttermarket branch of TJ Hughes said: “Things are going fine at our store. Sales are good and we seem to be benefitting from other stores going.

“Places like Woolworths sold similar items to us - the difference being they sold their own brand stock while we sell top brands at affordable prices.”

n. Have you started shopping at cheaper stores? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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