As its name suggests, Poundshop is a single price retailer, which sells everyday consumer products via an ecommerce website.
Aside from being the largest UK online pound shop, Poundshop is also the only pound shop business to be run by a woman: Donna Baker.
Having joined Poundshop in 2014, she previously worked for start-ups Here For A Day and Here for A Pound. With extensive ecommerce experience, Baker has helped to bring the high street pound shopping phenomenon to the internet shopper.
In this week’s ‘5 Minutes With’ segment, she speaks exclusively to the Retail Gazette about her role and shares her thoughts on discount retail in a Brexit climate.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background before Poundshop.
Since leaving the loss adjusting industry as one of the youngest appointed loss adjusters, I have focussed on retail, particularly ecommerce.
In terms of highlights, working with one of retail’s biggest names, Steve Smith, founder of Poundland, on Poundshop and completing our recent funding round are just two that spring to mind.
What got you into the retail sector in the first place?
I have always had an entrepreneurial streak and after a few years in the loss adjusting industry, I was invited to work in the family business retailing professional sound and lighting equipment.
My move to pure e-commerce felt inevitable, it’s a high-growth sector and I especially love the analytical aspect of digital commerce.
Describe your role and responsibilities as CEO of Poundshop.
I would probably split my role into three main aspects, these being team management, business development and brand ambassador.
I am very fortunate to work with an amazing team of enthusiastic and committed individuals at Poundshop and my main responsibilities include combining all department contributions to realise a vision that we all share. It’s very much a two-sided role in that I have to maintain a view of the overall objectives on a company and departmental basis as well as understanding the detail and being able to react to this to effect change.
The other main responsibility that I have is on the business development side and a large part of my time is spent on analysing historicals, key performance indicators and forecasting.
Last but certainly not least, I love my brand and I work passionately as a brand ambassador for Poundshop.com.
How has your previous experience aided your current job?
Experience itself is always an asset as long as you’re willing to learn from it and own your mistakes and I have brought plenty of those along, hopefully to the benefit of Poundshop.com.
Some of my previous experience was with a flash sales site, focussing on database development and I think this is one of the most crucial factors for Poundshop, combining the essential everyday savings with the fast paced wow offers to engage an audience.
How has Poundshop adapted to the challenges that faces retail at the moment?
For me, Poundshop’s main challenges don’t come from external sources, we have plenty of our own to manage and overcome.
We face a lot of scepticism in the industry for good reason, no other retailer has to pick and pack 20 items for a £20 order, for instance.
Externally, competition is always a challenge but we’re one step ahead and have many more plans to ensure we maintain a unique and attractive proposition for our customers.
Do you think discount retail has a future, despite increasing pressure on inflation in a post-Brexit