Profit Track 100

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.

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Company details
ActivityDiscount retailer
LocationWest Midlands
Annual profit growth75.14%
Latest profits £000s3,273
Latest sales £000s79,449

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure