Poundworld founder blames owners TPG for downfall

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Poundworld’s founder and former chief executive Chris Edwards has blamed TPG Capital for the retailer’s collapse, rejecting claims it was down to wider economic issues.

The discount chain’s most recent owners TPG, which bought the business from Edwards for £150 million in 2015, attributed its demise to a decline in the UK retail sector.

The private equity firm also placed blame on the poor value of the sterling after the Brexit referendum for Poundworld’s collapse into administration on June 11.

However, Edwards has put it down to “very bad” management from TPG, pointing the finger at their decision to hire staff with little experience in the discount sector.

“The new owners made expensive decisions that the business couldn’t take,” he said.

“They started recruiting people from supermarket backgrounds, who didn’t understand the discount, fixed-price model and with this they blew the firm’s wage structure.

“Then, they started selling multi-price products completely ignoring Poundworld’s USP, which was its amazing range of products that were all priced at just a pound.”

On Sunday it was revealed that Poundworld’s creditors were left £226 million out of pocket, with the administration providing just £22.8 million in the sales of assets which were taken up by preferential creditors and floating-charge holders.

The final Poundworld stores are due to shut on August 10 after numerous rescue bids, including an attempt by Edwards to buy 180 stores, failed.

Edwards went on to criticise administrators Deloitte, accusing them of slowing down the sales process to generate money from the liquidation of stock.

“In my opinion the administrator deliberately slowed down any potential sale of the business to generate more cash, with no thought for the jobs that would be lost,” he said.

“In the last seven weeks, I’d estimate the business turned over approximately £40 million and we’ll wait and see where this money ends up.”

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8 COMMENTS

  1. i used to work for poundworld got made redundant about a week ago now and Chris Edwards is right when the multi price wigig cane in that’s when the problems started they should have kept it at £1 or maybe have a bay of multi price not scattered everywhere.

  2. I’m sorry to hear that Mark. My local Poundworld closed just 2 weeks ago, and I visited it in it’s last few days. Stock was being sold at 10%, 20%, 30% and even 70% off original price. I felt sorry for the staff working there, as although the store had large posters up declaring “Closing Down Sale”, they had yet to be told officially that they would lose their jobs. I could tell morale was low. All I can say is that it was a great shop, and it’ll be a sad loss to the town where I live. I hope you find something else soon mate.

  3. I agree it seemed to be successful when Chris owned it, I noticed our local store becoming more and more disorganised with goods scattered with higher price tags amongst the £1 goods. It put me right off if you where not careful while shopping and got to the checkout some goods that where not even marked as higher would only show when they scanned them. Its all the people who have lost their job’s through bad management.

  4. I am redundant as of today after ten years working for pound world I loved every minute of it until tpg took over they had no idea what they were doing to us we were a pound shop that people loved to come to if Chris Edwards opens shops as pound shops again I would be start in line he was the best boss straight as they come

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