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Poundworld cashes in on the demise of Woolworths

Discount retailer in for a penny and in for a pound as it announces plans to create 1,800 jobs, but where are the best bargains to be found on the high street?

Like nature, the capitalist microcosm that is the down-at-heel British high street appears to abhor a vacuum.

With Woolworths closed for nearly three years now – and its once-bounteous pick’n'mix troughs little more than a fond, if sickly sweet memory – Poundworld has decided to fill the gap it left behind.

On Friday, the discount retailer vowed to created 1,800 jobs and is growing its Discount UK brand, which sells products priced from 28p to £25, into a national chain by adding another 15 stores to its 13-strong portfolio.

Poundworld itself, purveyor of thousands of brands from Heinz soup to Fairy washing up liquid – all for 100 pennies or fewer – is also planning to open a further 40 stores over the next 12 months, bringing the total number up to 160.

As Chris Edwards, founder of Discount UK, put it: “Woolworths offered variety and value and when it closed we felt we could step into its shoes with a modern multi-price format.”

Poundworld came into existence as a multi-price retailer called Bargain Centre in 1974, with the company opening its first single-price store in 1997 under the name Everything’s £1.

Meanwhile, its smaller-sounding – but in fact larger – rival Poundland is also swelling its empire by expanding into the eurozone, starting in debt-mired Ireland.

All of this begs a number of questions: What are the best bargains to be had in the discount shops? And how will the rest of Europe take to them? But, perhaps most importantly, what would you call Poundland on the continent? © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds