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Poundland considers ecommerce website

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Poundland today said online could form part of its strategy for growth, as it unveiled news of its stockmarket flotation.

The discounter, which opened its first UK store in 1990, says that with almost 500 stores it has more than double the number of stores of its nearest single-price competitor. The retailer turned over £880.5m in the 2013 financial year, and plans to expand to more than 1,000 stores long-term.


Announcing its stockmarket debut, the board said it will also be considering new avenues, including ecommerce. "Poundland will continue to explore new growth opportunities, such as the potential development of a transactional website to access new customers and fulfil different shopping missions, as well as developing new store formats such as a city centre format, which is a smaller store designed to operate in high footfall city centre locations with a focus on impulse purchases," the company said in its statement to the London Stock Exchange. It also hinted at the potential to grow by acquisition. "In addition, there may be opportunities within the value general merchandise retail market for further consolidation," it said.

Jim McCarthy, chief executive of Poundland, said: "The value retail sector has been through a period of profound change in scale, customer perception and financial performance. The sector is now a mainstream feature of the UK retail market and Poundland has been a central architect of that change. Our single price point and our amazing value are appealing to an increasingly broad section of shoppers with 22% of our UK customers now coming from the AB demographic.

"We have built a track record of delivering strong, profitable growth and I believe we have many more opportunities ahead, underpinned by our trusted brand, strong supplier relationships, differentiated value proposition and our well-invested and scalable infrastructure. Our success in Ireland - where we trade under the Dealz fascia - demonstrates that we have the capability to generate positive financial returns in new geographies quickly and underlines the potential in the business for further international growth in addition to our plans for continued rapid growth in the UK."

The company has added former Carpetright chief executive Darren Shapland to its board, one of four new non-executive directors to join ahead of the IPO.

Earlier this month, Poundland's original founder Steve Smith launched the unrelated Poundshop.com, days after the arrival of hereforapound.com.

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