I will admit it. I love Poundland. And for a consumer who is acutely conscious of both the handbags she carries and the plastic shopping bags that she is seen with, I can tell you now that I’m quite happy to see with Poundland bags. It has changed the way, you and I shop – no longer scared to talk about bargains. Revolutionised the way we perceive high street retail (no longer a ‘certain’ kind of a shop) and has proven that a bricks-and-mortar business model can continue to work and flourish.
As it celebrates it record-breaking annual sales of nearly £1bn, time to look at how it has changed the high street retail experience. Besides the single price point strategy, there are other factors at play here (and if you want to know how it makes money read this brilliant analysis)
1. It is changing how discount retailers work.
Every week after our Taekwondo lesson I take my son to the Poundland opposite our gym and find new gems. Anything from Learn French books to crayons to big bag of crisps to party hats to outdoor toys to holiday sized branded toiletries. For the short attention span of today’s consumers, alongside many staple items, its intelligent stocking strategy means that most times we discover something new. Products replenished fast and with newer items. Kerching!
2. Creates a simple experience that shoppers crave
It is not always about flipping out your smartphone, searching for free wi-fi, scanning codes and vouchers and being loyal to the brands you know best. Poundland is about going in, filling in your basket and going to a real-life cashier (in real time) and no messy mathematics. All for a pound. What’s not to love. It is so simple (even I can do it). Any consumer experience that can take the anxiety out of shopping has to be lauded as revolutionary.
3. It is not trying to be my friend
There is no loyalty card (if there is, I haven’t been offered one. Will lose it anyway, like the rest). There are no unnecessary ‘connections’ that the retailer is trying to make with me. Poundland has already created a rationale for me to go and shop there, it does not need to put me on any sort of a ‘targeting continuum’ grid.
4. It makes an offer consumers cannot refuse
Its price point, but then there are other discount retailers (some of them similar sounding). But it is not only its no frills approach but also its strategy not to look like a bargain basement store, that is appealing. Sometimes Tesco looks more tacky, with its focus on convenience foods or everything piled high, picked over, the ever-growing ‘expires today’ labels.
5. Poundland allows us to feel good about ourselves.
The ‘Happy Measure’ of customers is not something all retailers stick to. John Lewis, most certainly and on that list goes Poundland as well. I feel good about saving the pennies at Poundland (topped with great customer experience) and it allows me to look for luxuries and treats elsewhere.
6. It has changed the way we consume and perceive retail
It is not easy in the digital age, where retailers are under pressure to employ disruptive innovations that a retail brand has remained true to providing its customers with a good, simple physical experience. Alongside all the virtual stores and e-commerce that customers have in their palms, this bricks and mortar success story is disrupting the retail environment.
Armed with Poundland bags and those saved pennies, I am going into John Lewis next. My life as a customer has been revolutionised.