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BRITAIN'S biggest budget store POUNDLAND is thriving in the recession — and is set to create 2,000 jobs in the next year.
The chain, where everything cost £1, revealed its annual sales for the 53 weeks to April were £780million — up 19.3 per cent.
Poundland, Europe's largest single price discount retailer, has opened 62 new stores in the last year, creating 1,500 jobs, and its expansion is set to continue.
Chief exec Jim McCarthy told Sun City: “We are a fantastic business during good times. We are a very, very good business during bad times.
“I think there are about 14 per cent of Britain’s High Street stores shut at the moment. We are expanding when others are shutting.
“There continues to be a focus on retailers that can bring value, particularly with troubled consumers who have tightened budgets.
“There has been a continuing flight to value. We believe that will continue to be the case. Poundland has great resonance for the British public.”
Mr McCarthy said customers were shopping for essentials with the market for food and drink, health and beauty and general household goods booming.
He added: “Customers have been spending more on essentials, rather than treats or special items.
“Sticking to the knitting, doing what we do best, creating amazing value every day, which is what we do, is the most important thing.
“I think because everything we sell is £1 it helps people to budget. There are no special offers, promotions. Everything is a £1.
“That really, really strikes a chord with the UK consumer.
“Despite inflation pushing prices up and VAT rising, we will continue to sell our products for £1 for a very, very long time.”
About 4million customers a week were served in Poudland's 389 stores — up from 3.5million the previous year.
Its plans for expansion include opening more of its DEALZ stores in Ireland.
It will also open a new distribution centre in Hoddesdon, Herts, in August.