Dec 8, 2016
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Poundland shifts away from one price fits all

Dec 8, 2016

New owner Steinhoff is dropping Poundland's single-price format to sell a broader range of products to thrifty British consumers, the South African company said on Wednesday.

Steinhoff, on its own spending spree for no-frills furniture and general merchandise assets in Europe, bought Poundland for $800 million (£635.07 million), a deal analysts said would be a prelude to an overhaul at the British retailer.

Poundland is ditching its single-price format to sell a broader range of products to thrifty British consumers - Reuters

The highly acquisitive firm, which also tried to buy France's Darty PLC and Britain's Home Retail, is adding apparel and footwear products from its Pep&Co chain to Poundland.

"Management is quite confident that a multi-pricepoint and a different mix of product is definitely in store for the future for those brands in the UK," Chief Executive Markus Jooste said.

Poundland built its business on selling products at a flat rate of 1 pound.

Sales of Pep&Co products in large Poundland stores were ahead of expectations, Jooste told analysts in a call after the firm reported a 12.5 percent rise in quarterly group profit.

Poundland was not included in the results for the three months to the end of September, but Jooste said that in the stores where Steinhoff had offered the new products "gross margins increased substantially".

Steinhoff did not respond to a request for comment about possible store closures in Britain after reports that it planned to close 80 of its 900 Poundland shops.

"They are moving to a multiprice format over time, it makes sense as the discount sector has been growing its market share in the UK for more than a decade," said Investec Asset Management analyst Rob Forsyth.

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