Poundland is among the discount retailers which is continuing to expand, whether its new stores, products or jobs.
The retailer’s parent company Pepco Group recently announced plans to embark on a recruitment drive, with the creation of 13,000 net new jobs across its operations in Europe.
While the number of new UK jobs remains unknown, a Poundland spokesperson told Retail Gazette that the majority of the new jobs would be created in mainland Europe. The recruitment spree will take place over the next three years as part of the firm’s wider store portfolio expansion plans.
Along with creating new jobs, Pepco Group also plans to treble its number of stores to help it achieve its target of over €1 billion in core earnings within five to seven years.
The expansion presents promotion opportunities for existing employees, with Pepco Group highlighting how 90 per cent of every management job was an appointment from within.
Poundland is also expecting to benefit from inflationary pressure as people become more price sensitive amid the ongoing economic uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Poundland will be a job creator too as it continues to transform the business,” the Poundland spokesperson told Retail Gazette.
They added that Poundland planned to open a “modest number of stores” each year, along with new whole new categories, such as frozen food and free-from groceries.
“Poundland continues to make good progress across all areas of its business,” the spokesperson said.
Rachel Artiss, managing consultant at business consultancy BJSS, said Poundland can now benefit from the large amount of vacant retail space left from the collapse of many retailers.
“There are deals to be done for organisations who have the resources available, and the confidence in a brick-and-mortar strategy going forward,” she said.
“It could enable a retailer to expand their store footprint on more favourable terms than before, and with the opening of further stores this also creates job openings to support this expansion.
“Expansion could also deliver reputational benefit for Pepco, as they are visibly supporting the effort of getting more people back to work following the significant job losses and upheaval created by the pandemic in the retail and hospitality sector.
“It also drives a positive awareness of the brand which expands the potential customer base. I would also expect there to be robust supply of stock in some categories following the disruption of traditional sale channels resulting from lockdowns, which in tail has driven cost efficiencies to expansion and product sourcing.”
Retail expert Andy Barr agreed. He said Poundland was yet another example of a brand exploding out of the lockdowns around the world.
“It’s a prime time for expanding with so many good people unemployed, and these kinds of stores are holding the UK high street together,” he told Retail Gazette.
“It gives a shot in the arm for consumers and another opportunity to save. It’s a nice alternative on our high street to all the betting shops, at any rate.”
Samantha Silva, head of retail EMEA at recruitment agency Quest Search & Selection, argued that Poundland was likely to pick up some great deals on empty units for retailers that have ceased trading on the high street or have turned their focus to online.
She added that Poundland was “targeting the savvy shopper” as it continues with its brick-and-mortar ambitions.
“This is great news for their employees, as it has been mentioned that 90 per cent of their management population are from internal promotion,” Silva said.
“With this in mind, they still need to focus on getting fresh blood and new talent into the business to strive forwards with their expansion plans and on-going success.”