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Poundland launches online trial as it transforms its operations

By John Corser | Business | Published:

Poundland is expanding into frozen food – and will also trial online orders and deliveries from early in the new year.

Poundland managing director Barry Williams

It is part of moves to diversify away from its traditional in-store discount goods.

Frozen food will start appearing in Poundland stores from next week.

And it was revealed today a new poundland.co.uk home delivery service is being set up. The pilot online service will use one of the chain's three stores in Cannock, in the town centre, which will close on Saturday and begin its conversion into an online fulfilment centre.

It comes as the West Midland-based retailer announces a major transformation programme that it says will see stores refreshed, extended choice and new high street investment.

The discount retailer said it was ready to play its part in rebuilding battered high streets which have seen a swathe of retail chains go under in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

More Covid-19 coverage:

Its 'Project Diamond' will be the biggest transformation programme in Poundland's history as it helps lead the recovery of the UK’s town centres at a time when many high street names are battening down the hatches.

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The firm, which has a base close to the M6 in Willenhall, says there will also be changes to pricing and refreshing and refurbishing of its sites from the smallest convenience stores to larger destination stores.

Poundland is also investing in new back office technology, through its Oracle/ERP programme and making wi-fi available in every store.

Completing the move from single to simple price retailer, every category will now have extended ranges at prices above and below £1.

It is also accelerating the roll-out of chilled and frozen food to 60 stores and extending it to more later in the year. Next week they open in stores at Great Bridge Retail Park and Union Street, Wednesbury, and in the week of July 27 at New Road, Willenhall and Park Street, Walsall.

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The business is also building on the success of Poundland’s PEP&CO fashion brand by opening six additional compact ‘shop-in-shops’.

Poundland says it will now offer three types of stores – destination stores offering the fullest range of products including food, homeware, health and beauty and clothing; core stores offering a wide range of products on high streets and convenience stores offering “grab and go” easy shopping.

Three quarters of products are still sold at the core £1 price point, but prices from 50p to £5 have allowed Poundland to widen the range of products in health and beauty, household and grocery. The simple price roll-out will be completed by October – one year after it was launched.

Barry Williams, Poundland managing director, said: “We’re stepping up to support high streets after the impact of the coronavirus by being customer-focused, people-led and tech-enabled.

“This is the biggest transformation in our history as we look to secure our future for another 30 years.”

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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