Poundland has increased its range of goods costing more than £ 1 – to try to offer better value for money.
The range of products now costing more than £ 1 is bigger than you might have realized and can be more than 40 per cent.
A spokesperson told BirminghamLive: “We’ve tried to genuinely broaden choice for customers to make it more likely they’ll use Poundland for more of their weekly shopping.
“The numbers move around a little week to week, but 55-60 per cent of what we offer is still £ 1.”
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The policy means more than four in ten items might now well cost you more than a pound – including 600g jars of Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise and 550g boxes of Kellogg’s Cornflakes which each sell for £ 2.
A 200g jar of Nescafe Gold Blend cost £ 5 is as part of the switch from ‘a single price retailer to a simple price retailer’.
Want a toy cash register to add up the cost of your shopping with a child back home – that’ll be a tenner at Poundland.
With the tax burden going up in April, fuel prices rocketing and inflation rearing its ugly head again, one might think that stores like Poundland might suffer if it increasingly can not keep its £ 1 promise.
The pound-busting pricing policy was fully implemented just before Brexit and the unexpected arrival of Covid-19 which caught the world on the hop less than three months later.
Now that the price revision is two years old, inflation is offering a third hurdle to mount.
After experimenting from 2017, the company is hoping its decision to formally ditch the £ 1 limit in November 2019 will be seen as a masterstroke.
Creative thinking is helping to generate more efficiencies within a business now rapidly expanding its range of frozen foods.
And a new smaller Poundland Local concept is set to be trialled in place of a Nisa outlet in Boldmere Road, Sutton Coldfield.
Announcing in August 2019 that the first trial would go live in Park Street, Walsall, Poundland said: “The move to include the introduction of permanent sub- £ 1 price points for the first time and a wider range of £ 1-plus price points , will allow Poundland to deliver even more of the amazing value it promises customers (by) extending ranges to cover a larger proportion of the volume items which they demand. “
Poundland was founded in Burton-upon-Trent in 1990 – the bestselling goods on a market stall run by Steve Smith’s father were always the items in the 10p box.
Brought up with the mantra ‘If you do not work, you do not eat’ and wondering how to offer more value for money, the 18-year-old Mr Smith applied the idea on a larger scale after finding more than 600 items he could sell for a pound, which back then had only just been redesigned.
Mr Smith sold Poundland for £ 50 million in 2000 and the business has been valued at more than £ 1.5 billion.
A decision to trial breaking free of the £ 1 noose was made in 2017 and it became formal policy from November 2019.
At the same time, the company was opening an increasing number of PEP & CO stores to sell clothing – either within the same store (such as Corporation Street in Birmingham city center) or as a standalone store nearby (Kings Heath High Street has a Poundland and Pep & Co presence) two minutes’ walk apart.
A Poundland spokesman told BirminghamLive: “We know our job is to offer amazing value and based on our experience of managing other periods of high inflation (eg 2007/8), we know if we do that well, we can attract new customers.
“During the past two to three years we’ve extended what we offer into whole new areas – eg clothing, chilled and frozen food and homewares.
“By definition those categories aren’t traditional £ 1-based categories, but the prices we offer are largely unbeatable on high streets. For example more than 90 per cent of our PEP & CO clothing is £ 10 or less and is now in well over more than half our stores.
“Since 2019, we’ve taken the same approach in grocery too – you will not find anything costing more than £ 10, but extending prices below (we now start at 50p) as well as more than £ 1 allows us to sell more of the items customers look for on a weekly shop. “
Poundland now offers more than 1,000 well-known brands in some 17 shopping categories including food and drink, health and beauty, household, gardening, DIY, pet, stationery, books, DVDs and toys.
Specter of inflation
If prices rise, what will that mean for the future of Poundland?
Its spokesperson added: “All the thriving discounter stores across the world including dollar stores in North America, have over the last few years gone down the same route we have at Poundland.
“Our new storage range starts at £ 1 but there’s so much in there that’s amazing value at £ 3 and £ 5 too.
“We’ve started selling our own water filter jugs (called Perfect Drop) – they’re £ 5 compared to a Brita one for £ 16 and the cartridges are £ 2 rather than £ 5.75 for the brand. We couldn’t have done that as a pure £ 1 retailer. “
Finding new ways to keep prices low
Poundland encourages employees to think up new ways of how the company can offer better value.
The spokesperson revealed: “Our buyers have to be clever too – the seasonal buyer took the cardboard tube out of rolls of 4m wrapping paper and wrapped them even tighter so they could fit three times as many in a container.
“That’s because container (shipping) prices are going through the roof and this was a great way to keep the price low.”
In the competitive world of High Street retailing, Poundland said its biggest plus was to “know the price of everything.”
Offering a glimpse of its future thinking, the spokesperson added: “In times when customers are more cash-strapped, they actually tend to buy …
- Less in bulk – that’s why shops like Poundland where you can buy single items become more popular. The customer is less inclined to pay for and hold stock in their own cupboards; and they …
- Gravitate towards frozen food, because there’s less wastage. We’re up to around 350 stores with chilled and frozen food now and there’ll be another c100 before September. We think this is also well timed. “
Ten food items in Poundland for more than a £ 1
Here’s ten items where you’ll need more than a quid to buy them in Poundland on Corporation Street – though the other side of the new pricing structure coin means that if you fancy some Burton’s Fish ‘N Chips Sport & Vinegar flavor baked snacks you can have 2 x 125g bags for £ 1!
Young’s Chip Shop fish cakes x6 – £ 1.25
Fray Bentos Microwave Meaty Puds (3 mins) 400 – £ 1.75
KitKat 14-pack x two-fingers 14.29p each – £ 2
Haagen-Dazs 460ml tub – £ 2.50
Two large Young’s Chip Shop fish fillets and salt and vinegar batter – £ 2
TGI Friday’s Crunchy Fries corn snacks 127.5g bag – £ 2
Kiddylicious Fruity Bakes x6 – £ 2
Heinz Ketchup 50 per cent less sugar 400ml – £ 2
Quaker porridge x22 sachets 594g – £ 4
Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise 600g – £ 2
Nescafe Gold Blend 200g – £ 5
Non food items for more than £ 1 include
Ten Kodak AA batteries are still £ 1, but you can pay £ 1.50 and £ 2 for larger-sized batteries.
Instant BBQ – £ 1.50
HDMI cable 2m – £ 2
Balloons for filling with helium – £ 2.50
Wireless mouse – £ 3
UltraBrite bulbs x3 – £ 3
Oral B Pro-repair – £ 3
Metal birds for indoor or outdoor use – £ 5
Air Wick (2 x250ml) fresheners – £ 5
Tommy Tippee Super Cup – £ 5
Wireless charge alarm clock – £ 8
Hyaluronic Collection – anti-aging gift set – £ 8
Bold Wash Pods with built-in Lenor x45 (17.78p each) – £ 8
Fitness tracker – £ 10
Flash SpeedMop – £ 10
Polly Pocket Pollyvilles – £ 10
Ultra Slim Keyboard and Mouse – £ 12
Premium Smart Watch – £ 15 – not in stock when we visited
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