Poundworld founder Chris Edwards to launch new Onebelow discount chain


The founder of Poundworld Chris Edwards has announced plans to launch a brand-new chain of discount stores over the next year.

Speaking to the Financial Times Edwards said he planned to launch Onebelow, a chain returning to the “pound shop” concept of his former Poundworld empire, which officially entered administration in June leaving over 5000 former staff facing redundancy.

Despite the fixed price point format being put under strain thanks to growing import prices after Brexit, Edwards is confident there is still a demand for budget stores and plans to open over 100 Onebelow stores by the end of 2019.

A strict single price point would differentiate Onebelow from both Poundworld and the market leader Poundland.

Edwards has previously critiqued Poundworld’s decision to expand its offering past the £1 mark after he sold the retailer to TPG for £150 million in 2015, arguing that it confused customers. This tactic has now also been adopted by Poundland.

“We are still in contact with suppliers in the Far East,” Edwards told the Financial Times.

“We’ve had a good response from them and from landlords.”

The first Onebelow store is due to open in 2019, and will become the latest offering in a booming discount market.

Last month the UK’s largest grocer Tesco launched its own foray into the budget market with Jack’s, a store with a business model separate to Tesco aimed at taking on Aldi and Lidl.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter