26 May 2021

Are corner shops at risk from new Poundland Local?

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre has warned that Poundland's new 'Local' stores do pose a threat to independent convenience stores.

He spoke to the Retail Gazette about the launch of the brand's smaller convenience-style stores. The first two of its kind opened in Yorkshire earlier this month.

However, he said he'd seen a “great appreciation of the independent shop and what it provides the local community”.

“People have shopped more locally during Covid-19. Convenience stores and other independent shops have done well by really connecting with their local community – becoming involved through all the social media channels.

“The owners of these shops are often form the local community and it is this special relationship that the independent shop needs to emphasise – as well as ensuring that they can compete of product quality, availability, and service.

“Over the years we have seen large stores develop smaller formats (e.g. Tesco express) and so it is no surprise to see Poundland exploring this market.

“It does seem to be a growing feature of large chains and it provides an opportunity to explore new markets with local shopping having seen an increase in the past 15 months.”

Andrew said that Poundland’s local store format poses as a threat to the convenience store market because of the range of products it sells and for being a well-known brand.

Poundland’s threat to the convenience sector cannot be taken lightly,” he warned.

However, he added that for Poundland to succeed, it will need to select its sites carefully as the small store format does not work everywhere or for everyone.

“It did not work for Morrisons,” added Andrew.

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