Fast-growing discount chain Poundland celebrated a significant milestone yesterday with the launch of its 500th store. The outlet on Corporation Street, Birmingham was officially opened by actress and baker Jane Asher, who recently joined forces with the single-price retailer to launch a new range of bakeware in Poundland's first-ever celebrity tie-in.
The opening is part of the chain’s ongoing expansion drive which will see 21 new Poundland stores open in just five weeks in the run-up to Christmas. The growth spurt has created more than 500 new jobs.
Poundland has grown rapidly since its first store opened in Burton on Trent in 1990, with the business now reporting annual sales close to £1bn, with over 12,000 staff.
Chief Executive Jim McCarthy, said: “It’s an honour to celebrate the opening of our 500th store. I strongly believe that our customer base – which has expanded to 5 million every week – keep coming back because we have stayed firmly to the principles established when we opened our first store in 1990; namely helpful and friendly staff offering top brands at amazing value every day.
"With 21 new store openings during November and December we’re going from strength to strength.”
McCarthy, who is currently working on plans to expand into Europe under the Dealz brand name, has said he has a target of 1,000 Poundland stores across the UK. Meanwhile, plans are currently being drawn up to float the company on the stock market next year, which will raise cash for the expansion plans.