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Poundland to create 800 jobs at new Wigan distribution centre

Poundland angled

Discount retailer Poundland, which is still waiting on a competition decision over its takeover of smaller rival 99pStores, today unveiled plans to create hundreds of jobs in Wigan by building a new distribution centre.

The site, at the South Lancs Industrial Estate in Ashton-in-Makerfield, would serve the company's network of shops across the north-west of England.

If approved, it would be the 'single biggest jobs boost ever' for Wigan Borough, said a council spokesman, creating up to 800 new jobs.

Wigan councillor, David Molyneux, said: 'This is fantastic news for Wigan Borough and shows why we are a major player in the creation of a Northern Powerhouse.'

Councillor Molyneux added: 'This will be the largest single employment creating application that we have dealt with since the authority was formed in 1974 and in my view would rank alongside Heinz coming to Wigan in the 1950s.'

The Poundland site will cover more than 30,000 square metres on the former land of Georgia Pacific in Lockett Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield.

A planning application for the site has been lodged with the council.

The development has the potential to create up to 800 jobs in the coming years, including skilled jobs both full-time and part-time as well as apprenticeships, said the council.

Poundland shares were up 1.9p at 322.6p in lunchtime trading.

The expansion comes after the firm last week warned that despite an improvement in profits, sales growth had slowed in the last three months.

The retailer, which sells everything in its shops at £1, warned of a ‘relatively subdued’ first half after sales for the 11 weeks to mid-June were 4.1 per cent higher on a current currency basis - a slowdown compared to 11.8 per cent growth in 2014/15.

Poundland is also awaiting a decision from the competition watchdog’s in-depth probe about its £55million takeover of 99pStores.

In a report last month, the Competition and Markets Authority said the takeover, which would create a network of 800 shops, could mean 'substantial lessening of competition in 80 local areas where the companies overlap' and 12 where they would compete 'in the near future'.

The CMA originally found that after the takeover, Poundland would only face competition from one other single-price retailer with national scale, Poundworld, as well as from other discount retailers B&M, Home Bargains, Wilko and Poundstretcher.

Source : Mark Shaplan -

27 June 2015

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