POUNDWORLD HAS MADE A RETURN TO BRITAIN'S HIGH STREETS
British discount retailer Poundworld has relaunched under a new name.
The founder of Poundworld, Chris Edwards, sold his almost 400 store empire, however was forced to watch it collapse due to poor new management.
He has now purchased some of his old stores and is reopening them under the name 'One Below'.
Big queues at the opening of a One Below in St Helens, England.
Edwards began discount retailing in 1974 with a market stall in Wakefield, Yorkshire. He then began to roll out branded shops across the north of England before rebranding all of his stores as 'Poundworld' in 2004.
The launch of Poundworld was an instant success. In just over 5 years, it grew to 200 stores, riding right on the tail of it's biggest rival, Poundland.
For a store selling everything for £1, it's seen some dramatic profits. In 2011, it's profits went up by 42% than on the previous year, followed by a 55% profit increase in 2012. This fresh cash allowed him to dramatically increase the number of stores, opening sometimes one shop every 2 days.
In 2016, Poundworld was sold to the American investment firm 'TPG Capital'. When the sale went through, Edwards announced he was going to step down as the company's CEO. However, this is arguably where it all went wrong.
In an interview with Sky News, Edwards says TPG "just mismanaged the business...they brought people in that never should've been brought in."
The new management continued Poundworld's rapid expansion, however began rebranding the stores as 'Poundworld Plus' to begin selling products for more than £1. This dramatic turn caused customers to go elsewhere, forcing TPG to place the company into administration and close all of Poundworld's stores.
Edwards says the reason why he relaunched the company was because he "doesn't like being bored." He is placing £10 million of his own money in his new firm, and hopes to have 100 stores reopened by the end of 2019. “We are still in contact with suppliers in the Far East. We’ve had a good response from them and from landlords,” he said.
Despite only launching in February, One Below already has 21 stores, with another 2 still to be opened.