When Poundland and 99p come together, what will be left for Ipswich’s Carr Street?
The news that discount retailer Poundland is preparing to buy its rival 99p Stores for a not-insignificant sum of £55 million could have a major impact on one of the main streets in Ipswich.
The deal has still to be agreed by the government’s Competition and Markets Authority (better known to most people as the Monopolies’ Commission) and that could force the enlarged company to sell some stores in towns where it could be seen as having too many outlets.
In Carr Street Poundland and the 99p Store face each other – and there’s another store, the locally-owned Yippee its 99p in Poundland’s basement!
The popularity of these discount stores was vividly illustrated in September 2013 when the QD store in Carr Street held a closing down sale before the site was taken over by the 99p Store – hundreds of shoppers queued for hours in a bid to pick up a bargain.
So what will happen if the takeover goes through? Given the number of people using the shops it is quite feasible that Poundland will want to retain both of them – its store in old Woolworth’s remained open despite its opening in Tower Ramparts last year.
However it might decide to surrender its lease on one of the sites in Carr Street – or it could be ordered to do so by the CMA, in which case there would be no shortage of other pound-stores willing to move in.
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Both Poundworld and Poundstretcher are expanding chains that have not yet found sites in the town – they would love the chance to mix it with their rivals in Ipswich!
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