It’s sink or swim on the high street, and while many retailers are closing down stores, chains are going into administration and the UK’s streets are full of boarded up premises, Poundland are investing millions on opening new stores, undergoing refits and launching new product ranges. Their mission is to shed their ‘bargain basement’ reputation and go upmarket in a bid to attract new customers. At a time when retail is in massive decline, can Poundland possibly grow their billion-pound empire and if so, what’s their secret? In this episode, we meet managing director Barry, not in the boardroom devising strategy, but shoving pizzas into freezers in the Walsall branch of Poundland. He’s there to help with the launch of their new enterprise ‘Project Diamond’ – a multi-million-pound investment into giving stores a makeover and branching into new product lines like frozen and chilled food. Retail director Austin visits the Glenrothes store, to see for himself why HQ has decided to plough so much money into shop refits. And in Poundland’s next attempt to go upmarket and to change the public perception as selling cheap and poor-quality goods, the PR team devise a stunt to drum up publicity around the launch of an aspirational new line in trendy homeware. They invent a fake Swedish homeware brand called Lündon Pad – a cunning anagram of Poundland – and dress a shop window in Mayfair with their cushions and ornaments, hoping that the public will think that the items would set them back hundreds.
Inside Poundland: Secrets From The Shop Floor – Monday 9pm on Channel 4