Poundland is a British-based variety store chain which sells every item in its stores for £1. Established in April 1990 by Dave Dodd and Stephen Smith, Poundland stock a variety of around 3,000 home and kitchen-ware, gifts, healthcare and other products, across 16 categories many of which are brand name and clearance products. Like many of its rivals, Poundland operates a constantly rotating product line with products sold at the single price point of just £1. Although price-point retailing was invented in the United States during the 1870s, the chain claims to have introduced this concept to Europe and is the largest single-price discount retailer in Europe. The retailer claims that their Croydon store is the busiest single-priced discount outlet in the world, generating more than £9 million in revenue per year with 30,000 customers a week, which as of December 2008, was more than any of its yen and dollar counterparts in Japan and the USA respectively. The company estimates it serves 2.75 million customers in an average week.
Poundland have enjoyed strong sales growth and have maintained steady profit growth against increasing inflation. This, among other factors, has been aided by a strong customer base of predominantly female shoppers every week in the C1, C2, D and E categories (the working classes in a system of demographic classification used in the United Kingdom). The chain employs 7,000 staff and their company union is the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW). Their closest rival in the market is 99p Stores, who undercut Poundland's prices by a penny.
It was announced in September 2008 that Poundland's owners, Advent International, are said to be cashing in on the resurgence in value retailers by preparing to put the chain up for sale. The report came as figures shown that value retailers are seeing a business boom in the current economic climate. These plans were confirmed in March 2010, when it was reported that Barclays Private Equity has expressed an interest in a potential take-over of Poundland for about £200 million. On Tuesday 4 May 2010, it was announced that Poundland had been sold to US private equity firm Warburg Pincus for £200 million.