The Ise Group’s Poundland stores offer more than 2,000 products at a single price: just one pound. The brainchild of Steve Smith and Dave Dodd, Poundland was set up in Wolverhampton in 1990. They claim that it is now Europe’s largest one-price retailer, with 50 high-street shops and a 130,000 square-foot distribution centre. The idea for Poundland grew out of the founders’ childhood market stall days, when they saw left-over goods selling like hot cakes once they were placed in a single-price bargain box. By 1999, Poundland claimed to have one million customers a week – 82% of them women – buying everything from soap to stationery. Profits have risen at 75% pa, from £609,000 in 1995 to £3.3m in 1998, while sales rose by 29% pa over the same period to reach £79.4m. Smith and Dodd attribute their profitability to negotiating significant discounts for bulk-buying and prompt payment with Far Eastern manufacturers. It has also invested heavily in IT systems which deliver point-of-sale information to enable it to make swift purchasing decisions in reponse to demand.
This profile reflects the company at time of publication and does not reflect any changes that may have subsequently occurred. Fast Track and its sponsors do not endorse, guarantee or recommend investment in any of the companies.