Who’s the CEO of Poundland?

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ceo of poundland

Poundland is a British discount chain that sells everything from shampoo to weed killer for £1. Its doors first opened in 1990 and, in its prime, it was serving an impressive seven million shoppers a week.

Poundland’s Retail Concept

At the centre of Poundland’s brand ideology is to offer a vast range of items – more than 3,000 in fact – for the best possible value. The majority of Poundland’s’ offering can be purchased for a £1. However, there are some items that cost slightly more. But, even at the higher price, they are generally still better value than other stores.

Shoppers soon started flocking to their local Poundland to make the most of the extremely low prices, and it didn’t take long before it had a presence around the whole of the UK.

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What can you buy from Poundland?

Poundland has a huge product offering covering most of the essentials we need to live our day-to-day lives. For instance, there’s outdoor living items like BBQ tongs, plastic plates and insect repellents.

There is also a large selection of food and drinks, health and beauty products, household products, pet toys, gardening equipment, leisure and entertainment products, stationery, craft products and items for parties.

As well as these products, Poundland offers some helpful services, including mobile top-up, international mobile top-up, SIM cards and eGift cards.

History of Poundland

It all started in 1990 with the launch of Poundland’s pilot sore in Burton Upon Trent. A year later, its head office opened in The Meadows, Cannock Road in Wolverhampton.

Around that time, its Hong Kong office opened so it could be in close proximity to, and provide support with, the product sourcing. In 2002, the brand was sold to Advent International and Colin Smith was appointed as Chairman.

By the time it reached 2003, Poundland’s 100th store had opened in Shirley, West Midlands and this monumental achievement demonstrated how much the public loved the brand and its concept.

In 2006, Jim McCarthy became the CEO and, two years later, its 200th store opened its doors in Doncaster in South Yorkshire. The same year, Poundland formed a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

The brand first went overseas in 2009, when it launched in Northern Ireland. Then, in 2011, Poundland won the Discount Retailer of The Year at the Retail Industry Awards.

In 2013, Jane Asher opened its 500th store in Corporation Street, Birmingham. Asher, who is a famous baker and author, was the brand’s first celebrity partnership.

In 2015, Poundland’s turnover exceeded £1 billion for the first time.

Since its launch in 1990, over 800 stores have been opened in the UK and 60 in Ireland.

Poundland’s Acquisition

In September 2016, Steinhoff Europe AG acquired Poundland for £610 million. This resulted in its shares being delisted from the London Stock Exchange. Steinhoff is an international retail holding company based in South Africa. It mainly deals with household goods and furniture, and operates across the globe, including in Asia, Africa, the US, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

Steinhoff has heaps of expertise in sourcing and manufacturing products that are low cost. This is great news for customers that have a keen eye for a good deal – which is, of course, many of Poundland’s existing and target customers.

Poundland CEO

The current CEO of Poundland is a bit of a mystery, as there isn’t much clear-cut information online regarding who it is. However, we can take a look at some of the previous CEOs and other members of the board of directors instead.

Former CEO

Kevin O’Byrne became the CEO of Poundland in April 2016, after Jim McCarthy held the position until December 2016. He left this role to become the Chief Financial Officer at Sainsbury’s.

Former CEO

Jim McCarthy was the CEO of Poundland between 2006 and 2016. He previously held major roles in Sainsbury’s’ Board of Directors. Jim served the company well for a decade but decided he wanted to retire.

With Jim as CEO, the brand grew from 146 shops in the UK, with sales of around £310 million, to over 900 stores, also in Spain and Ireland. This added a further £1 billion in sales and over seven million customers were heading to Poundland to get the latest deals every week.

Executive Chairman

The current Executive Chairman of Poundland is Andy Bond and he has held the position since November 2016. Born in 1965, Andy is the former CEO of Asda, a post which he resigned from in April 2010. Andy replaced Kevin O’Byrne, who resigned in favour of a Chief Finance Officer position at Sainsbury’s.

Andy had been the CEO of Pepkor, a South African general merchandise business for two years at this point. Pepkor was owned by Steinhoff International, which also owns Poundland.

During his role, Andy was in charge of launching Pepkor’s UK brands; for example, Guess How Much!, the discount clothing, homeware and groceries chain. Andy secured £10 million of funding from Pepkor to support GHM!.

The savvy businessman was Asda’s CEO between 2005 and 2010 and played an instrumental role in Steinhoff’s negotiations during its acquisition bid for the discount retailer.

Andy also launched Pep & Co, a discount fashion chain, in the UK, before joining Poundland in 2016.

Managing Director

Barry Williams is the current Managing Director of Poundland. He started his journey with the discount chain in November 2016 as Trading Director. Prior to this, he was the Chief Customer Officer and Chief Merchandising Officer at Asda Stores Ltd.

Does Poundland franchise?

Unfortunately, Poundland isn’t looking to expand through the franchise model. There has been talk of doing so in the past, but this never became a reality. Even without using franchising, Poundland achieved rapid growth in a short time period. Rather than franchising opportunities becoming available in the UK, it is more likely that the company will use master franchising for international expansion.

Therefore, it isn’t possible to start a franchise with Poundland in the UK. Head to our UK Franchise Directory to see the latest franchise opportunities.

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