Poundland doubles expansion to 50 stores
RECESSION-strapped Irish shoppers are far more likely to spend their money in pound shops than their UK counterparts, with an average Irish customer spend per visit that is 10pc higher. That's according to Poundland, the UK-wide discount chain, which has just decided to double the size of its expansion plans here with 50 stores, worth a total of €150m.
According to CEO Jim McCarthy, the chain's Irish branded "Dealz" network, which launched in October last, has proven so successful that the chain -- which initially announced six stores -- has now ended up with 13.
It plans 25 by the end of this year, and has now upped its total Irish target to 50 by 2015.
With an investment of €3m per store, this new target represents a total jobs tally of 1,500.
Asked about the greater Irish penchant for penny pinching, Mr McCarthy said: "General prices are higher in Ireland than in Britain, which leads to a higher value differential here.
"It means Irish customers can save more than their British counterparts in our Poundland outlets.
"Our Irish stores have turned out to have a 10pc higher average spend than in the UK and our turnover per store here ranges from 10pc to 15pc higher."
However, he pointed out that overheads were also much higher in Ireland, particularly the high cost of opening up and fitting out stores, and that there was also an increased cost to shipping stock here from the UK.
Poundland/Dealz differs from more usual pound shops in that the chain opens supermarket sized outlets of 6,000 square feet on average.
While items which cost a pound (€1.50 in Ireland) make up the majority of the stock, the chain buys in large numbers of recognised consumer brands in household products which are heavily discounted thanks to cancelled orders, end of line products and deals extracted by the group's buying power.
This week Poundland announced annual profits in the UK and Ireland of STG£40.1m compared to 31.7m in the previous year.