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Digital Retail News owner reveals expansion plans

Poundshop dotcom, based in Brierley Hill, run by Ashley Smith is planning to double its workforce and move to bigger premises

An online discount store run by the son of Poundland founder Steve Smith has announced ambitious plans for growth, with the aim of achieving turnover of £100 million within the next three years., based in Brierley Hill, run by Ashley Smith is planning to double its workforce and move to bigger premises to meet increasing demand for its products.

The pound shop market has proliferated in recent years with Willenhall-based Poundland leading the way and the firm is currently in the process of buying its main competitor 99p Stores.

But the online space has yet to be exploited and while Poundland is still considering its options it is an area where is hoping to make inroads.

Founded in February 2014 by Ashley Smith, after his father acquired the domain name, the firm sells everything from Loreal makeup, pet food and even La Senza lingerie for just £1.

Mr Smith said: “We’ve captured the ‘Amazon-effect’ in the pound shop market space. Not having physical shops makes us a lot more agile and keeps costs down, meaning we can offer deals that my dad never could.

“We even managed to get clearance stock of La Senza underwear and sold 80,000 pairs in one day. You just couldn’t do that if you had to get them to the high street.”

He added: “When my dad was running Poundland, the average customer would spend about £3 in store. Our average order is £35, which knocks the spots off that. In fact, our biggest ever order was a whopping £813 - the guy ordered everything from bleach to t-shirts to food.”

Poundland founder Steve Smith sold the business for £50 million in 2000 and now Ashley Smith is hoping to follow in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps.

As well as planning to achieve turnover of £100 million within three years he believes partnerships with websites such as Money Saving Expert and, have helped spur rapid growth.

The current team of ten is set to double to 20 in the near future and the firm also plans to move to larger premises in the West Midlands.

Mr Smith said: “It’s a 24-hour business, with customers ordering through the night. We’ll deliver to them the very next day, so for many people it’s more convenient than going to the shops.”

Source : Edna Mullen - Birmingham Post

06 October 2015

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