Pound store put out of business by 99p store

12 January 2009

When we read this story in the Bitterwallet office earlier, we had to check with Andy that it wasn't one of his flamboyant pieces of factual news reporting. On paper, it makes perfect sense that consumers will favour the cheaper prices in a recession, but for the sake of a single penny?

And so the Daily Telegraph reports that uber-bargain store Pound World in Poole was forced to close at the weekend, because of competition from 99p Stores across the road. Yes, Pound Land was king of the hill until its rival opened last month, and has since seen sales tumble by 70 per cent.

Frugal 21 year-old Karl White said: "I would certainly cross the road if it meant I could get a similar item a penny cheaper. The more you buy for 99p, the more pennies you save. Every penny makes a difference in a credit crunch."

"I have just bought six items, so I've saved 6p," said White, sounding not unlike a character from Viz. Thanks to Bitterwallet reader Mike for the link!

[Daily Telegraph]


  • Pizza_D_Action
    Although it does sound silly that the place has closed over 1p difference, you would expect the shop to lose 50% of their trade as people would choose one or the other for products.... so its only the extra 20% who (possibly) psychologically chose to save the pennies (so to speak).
  • James
    All I can say is that Karl White's an absolute loser.
  • Keen
    in hounslow there's a pound store, a 99p store AND a 98p store i wish i was joking
  • Vinny
    What about the 2.5% profit they make/made by not (allegedly) passing on the VAT cut?
  • Vinny
    Forgot to mention West Ealing is worser than Hounslow - Pound land/98p stores/99p stores galore!
  • Ray F.
    "Forgot to mention West Ealing is worser than Hounslow" No such word as worser!
  • Vinny
    It is in the American English dictionary (Lived 20 years in the states)
  • Mike H.
    Yes Karl, but did you really save yourself 6p? Did you really 'NEED' those 6 items you bought? Didn't you think that by crossing the street you risked your life and that it required 7ps worth of food to fuel you punny little body to accomplish this task?
  • Ian
    I think the quality and selection of products is more likely to have accounted for the pound shops demise.
  • MB
    It's the same as any market where there is a rival. If you are a monopoly you makes loads of money as no competition. If you have a rival, then you lose at least some of your marketshare to them. People may think they save themselves 1p per item, but are those items exactly the same as in the other store.
  • Liam
    I wonder how many 1p change the 99p store must need to go through in a day.
  • Mike H.
    ^^ Or how many peeps say, "keep the change" ^^
  • Steveymp
    Ahhhhhh I've been to Poole, go every year, Lovely weee town Anyway the 99p store is new and twice the size and has a better range of products than the old pound store ;) Me thinks thats why it closed, and don't worry about crossing the street as it pedestrianised :)
  • bowdeni
    This article is a joke. Ok, so we've got two quotes. Does this really represent the thousands of consumers that go into these shops? Just because the 99p shop is one penny cheaper, in theory, doesn't meant it's the CAUSE of the effect. What about other variables such as customer service, product availability etc?
  • Pizza_D_Action
    FPMSL @ "customer service and product availability" in a £1 / 99p store.... :)
  • mohammed
    I think poundworld must have been a small pound shop compared to the larger 99p store. That is why it went bust as 99p would have had more range of products and not because of 1p difference. I have seen many small pounds shops close after a larger poundland or 99p shop open nearby.
  • Bob
    "Ahhhhhh I’ve been to Poole, go every year, Lovely weee town" Really? Has it still got that awful 60's prefab shopping centre with a poor excuse for a fair outside?
  • Mike H.
    I can't believe you are all so familiar with such an utterly SHIT shop, 'high quality' pikey trash piled up for the masses to marvel at then buy. Come on it's not that fucking desperate out there (a world is beyond your front door or computer screen) :(
  • DMAX28
    "I can’t believe you are all so familiar with such an utterly SHIT shop, ‘high quality’ pikey trash piled up for the masses to marvel at then buy. Come on it’s not that fucking desperate out there (a world is beyond your front door or computer screen) " ...really?
  • Spike
    I have arrested Karl White several times as he is usually more in favour of completely free items.
  • Matt
    Personally, if I were to make a purchase from either, I would prefer The £1 shop as that bastard penny change would do my head in. Unless of course, I were going to be purchasing 99 items then I would obviously choose the 99p shop to get one free item.
  • Kevin
    By the sound of it neither of them are like PoundLand which actually has proper branded products and a good range that is always changing. That sort of thing will always knock out some of the stores you seem in some towns.
  • Steveymp
    "Really? Has it still got that awful 60’s prefab shopping centre with a poor excuse for a fair outside?" I'm not too sure, I send jeeves in for the groceries from my villa in Sandbanks :)
  • Nathan P.
    In Swansea there is a Poundland and a 99p Store directly opposite each other. Both of whom are trading very well. There are things you can find in a Poundland that you can't find in a 99p Store and vice versa. To be quite honest, I find the items I buy from Poundland to be of a slightly better quality (especially homewares and motoring/DIY equipment. But, 99p Stores have a better range of food. Karl White is quite odd, however. In this day and age, a saving of 6p is almost negligible. Plus I'd rather pay the extra penny to support a store that's a lot smaller than its' rival. Companies still need our support but we aren't giving it to quite a few of them - that's why they go bust. Some people are too penny-pinching.
  • Nathan P.
    Plus I'd rather not have half my weight in pennies clanking around in my pocket. I hate them.
  • Noone R.
    I love the way that the OP bothered to do some research. From what I gather, the "Pound" shop (which wasn't poundland btw) was actually selling items at £2 and £3. On top of this, a lot of the items such as batteries were better value in the 99p shop as you got more in a pack. For instance, in the window of the Pound shop, there was a pack of 2 9v Hyundai batteries for £1. In the 99p shop, you got a pack of 3 for 99p! So although there were tongue-in-cheek people going on about saving 1p, there was far more to it.
  • Carole H.
    It is a sad fact of life that many shops have gone under during the economic downturn which is around at the moment in Britain. And to think that this particular shop sold everthing for a £1, and the other shop was a 99p shop amazing really. It is strange people think oh 99p is cheaper which it is but only 1p less than a £1. So it proves that the advertising ploy works. I have two 99p shops in my local area in Sutton and Croydon, and also two poundland shops. Which sell cut price goods and they are always full of people and at this time of year are even more busy. I often shop there last year I purchased a locely back-pack well made and a great design, many people have made comments and asked me where I got it, I think these type of shops are good value for money and sell some well known brand at half the price of some high street shops that I know. People look for bargains rightly or wrongly and if they are strapped for cash they will use these shops.

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