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Oct 01, 2017

Cashing in at Poundland

by Gary Rapps - Managing Director

Cashing in at Poundland

Poundland’s retailing concept is a simple one, according to its own website, representing ‘AMAZING VALUE’ for money – a fact which it obviously feels needs over emphasising given the use of capitals in the PR blurb.

The strategy however, of offering over 3000 products often with a target price of just £1, does seem to be paying off for the company. News in recent months has not only highlighted good performance and top team promotions across its Board but sights being set on European expansion via growth of its Dealz fascia in France, Spain and beyond.

Closer to home, the high street discounter has also been in the headlines for a series of rather interesting marketing initiatives and new product introductions with mixed success.

Let’s take its recent move to compete with that classic triangular chocolate brand, Toblerone, which was one of the retailer’s biggest sellers before shrinkflation kicked in and its sizing was reduced.

Poundland's reaction was to launch the Twin Peaks bar, made with two humps rather than a single peak, but despite a blaze of publicity and TV coverage it has yet to make it to the shelves.

The answer lies in a legal warning from Toblerone’s owner, a Swiss division of Mondelēz, despite Poundland insisting the Toblerone shape is no longer distinctive enough to be a valid trademark.

In recently filed legal defence documents, Poundland claimed that any good reputation enjoyed by the Toblerone bar, whose design was registered in 1997, had been “irretrievably abandoned” by the launch of the product with bigger gaps between its nine chunks, which the public “consider unfavourably in comparison”.

Moving from the peaks of the Alps to the good ol’ US of A, Poundland's latest initiative to backfire was its decision to invest in Presidential merchandise!

The store chain recently stocked up on a selection of limited edition, Trump inspired, items from masks and ties to rosettes and caps in honour of his planned October trip to the UK. When this was cancelled the store had to think on its feet and has come up with a rather interesting solution to move the stock.

According to Poundland Trading Director, Barry Williams, "The range was created ahead of his UK visit, but given this is not happening now, we reckon the only way to sell the products is to encourage shoppers to come up with unusual ways to use it”.  "The range is also perfect for Halloween” continued Barry. “Just wait until you see the Donald Trump masks, they're probably the scariest things we've ever sold!"

Now, we all know about Mr. Trump's relationship with the media and you could certainly be forgiven for thinking that this final range introduction is fake news, but the store has launched a line of sex toys following the success of the £1 bullet vibrator which became a best-seller in 2016. 

Poundland hopes the new line of products, called Nooky, which includes Sexual Vitality Supplements, basically own-brand Viagra in blue packaging for men and pink for women, will make shopping for products to spice up your sex life even more accessible.

Having revealed that 68 per cent of British women feel embarrassed when stepping into a high street sex shop like Ann Summers or Simply Pleasures they may just be right.

And if the old saying that ‘too much sex can ruin your eyesight’ is also to be believed then shoppers are definitely in the right place given that Poundland sold over 28 million pairs of prescription reading glasses last year alone.

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