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Poundland set for ecommerce launch

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Poundland is set to launch itself into ecommerce trading, with a transactional website expected before Christmas.

The news emerged as the company this week released its full-year results showing a 13.3% rise in total sales, to £997.8m, in the year to March 30, compared to the previous year. Like-for-like sales were up by 1.9%. At the same time, pre-tax profits rose by 23.5% to £36.8m.

The company’s figures show that it spent £1.3m on “strategic initiatives” including ecommerce and international trading in its latest financial year.

Chief executive Jim McCarthy told The Guardian that the new website would come in time for Christmas, focusing on niches from children’s parties to Halloween and secret Santas, though he would not give further details.

In the results statement, he said consumers seemed set to continue buying in the way they had during the course of the recession. That, of course, includes online as well as using discounters.

“Our programme of new store openings, international expansion and continuing productivity improvements are all key drivers of growth,” said McCarthy.

“We believe the shopping behaviours adopted during the last five or six years will continue as the economy and consumer confidence improve and that Poundland is well placed to benefit further from increased footfall and discretionary spending.”

The company this week also announced the opening of its first Spanish store, trading under the Dealz name, in Torremolinos.

Poundland first hinted at an ecommerce website back in February. When it announced its IPO it said it would "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."

That month, Poundland’s original founder Steve Smith, who is no longer connected to the business, launched the unrelated Poundshop.com, days after the arrival of hereforapound.com.
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