Discount retailer Poundland has today announced that it will open four stores in the Republic of Ireland later this year, representing its first foray outside the UK.
Trading under the name Dealz, the four outlets will add 25,000 sq ft of retail selling space to its network of 347 stores already spanning England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Some 120 retail jobs are set to be created by the Irish venture which begins in October 2011, but more employment opportunities will be provided before the end of Poundland’s financial year (March 2012) as two further stores are in the pipeline.
In an interview with Retail Gazette last year Poundland CEO Jim McCarthy predicted there would be “global demand” for the retailer’s value offer, but said at the time that the focus remained on the UK.
It seems that the initial success of the stores in Northern Ireland - the first outlet opened in the country towards the end of 2009 - has convinced him to extend the Poundland business south of the border.
Commenting on the European expansion, McCarthy said: “We carried out extensive customer research in the Republic of Ireland.
“Finding a European brand name for an established UK brand was no easy task.
“It was important to ensure we decided on a brand name that was going to resonate with our Republic of Ireland customers and in the future, enable us to expand the brand in mainland Europe. Dealz was the clear winner.”
Dealz will have the same board as Poundland, which is chaired by Colin Smith and a management team led by McCarthy, but the Republic of Ireland operation will be run by an Irish business manager.