Poundland is set to make a major push in its roll out of discount clothing brand Pep&Co, aiming to sell it in 100 of its stores by the end of the year.
Following a lengthy £610 million acquisition by South African company Steinhoff, which also owns Pep&Co, the discount retailer is now pushing to fill the gap left by Woolworths after its collapse.
It plans to eventually introduce Pep&Co products into 200 stores in its 850 store estate as part of a wider strategy to broaden the price range to above £1.
Pep&Co was launched by the former head of Asda‘s George range Andy Bond, with backing from Steinhoff.
The brand spread quickly since its inception in 2015, opening the doors on 50 shops within two months. It now boasts 60 standalone stores and 30 Poundland concessions.
“We are putting clothing into big Poundlands,” Bond said.
“We are bringing back to high streets the kind of clothing that was once loved. This is not to shuffle in inflation but about new items.”
Despite the push for ranges outside of the £1 moniker, purchases above that currently account for just four per cent of sales.
Poundland said over 90 per cent of its range would remain at £1.
The chain also says that it was “commited to the pound” and will endeavor to fight inflation as well as “shrinkflation”, in which products shrink in size while staying the same price.
It will do this partly by replacing third-party brands with own-brand alternatives, which it has already done with After Eights.
“We have got a lot of opportunity to take cost out of our business and doing so allows us to invest in our product offer and not make shortcuts for customers in either size or quality.” He said shrinkflation would be “very much the exception rather than the rule,” Bond said.
This comes the same week as 60 99p Stores, which Poundland took over in 2015, enters administration.
The majority of these will be converted into Poundland, keeping job losses at 99p Stores to a minimum.