THE boss of Poundland believes the firm’s £55 million takeover of 99p Stores will make the smaller chain more efficient – as customers would no longer have to wait for cashiers to fish around for a penny change.
Poundland yesterday agreed to buy the family-run firm in a cash-and-shares deal 14 years after it was founded with a single store in Holloway, north London, by entrepreneur Nadir Lalani.
Jim McCarthy, the chief executive of Poundland, said customers would not mind paying the extra 1p as the 251 stores are converted, arguing that the quality of its offering “more than compensates”.
He added: “I think people probably will find the £1 price a little bit better because they won’t have to start rooting around for pennies. “Not having to give the penny back is quite a significant operational efficiency.”
99p Stores was founded in 2001 by Lalani, who had previously built up and sold two convenience-store chains after arriving from Tanzania in the 1970s.
He was helped by sons Hussein and Faisal, and the business opened a further three stores later that year.
The chain has grown rapidly in recent years following the demise of Woolworths as bargain retailers have become regular fixtures in UK high streets. Poundland will also pick up a warehouse and distribution centre in the transaction.
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