Northampton 99p discount store to close...and be replaced by £1 shop

Two Poundland stores will be open directly opposite each other in Northampton's main shopping street in a fortnight as part of the chain's cornering of the budget market.

Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 11:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 11:36 am
The 99p Stores outlet on Abington Street is to shut on Thursday, April 7. It wil reopen as a Poundland on April 14.

The 99p Stores outlet, which opened in Abington Street on August 12, 2014, is set to shut on April 7 and reopen as a Poundland on April 16 this year.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) formally cleared the budget brand’s “acquisition” of the Swan Valley based 99p Stores chain, owned by entrepreneur Nadir Lalani, in September.

At the time however Poundland said it would need to shut 80 outlets across the UK as part of the merger.

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When the 99p Stores on Abington Street is re-branded in a fortnight it is understood the current staff there will be retained.

And Poundland says it has no plans to shut its nearest outlet on the opposite side of Abington Street, just 30 yards away.

A Poundland spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there are no plans to close either store”.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that an initial investigation into the planned merger of the two low-price chains found that it would lead to “a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition” in 80 areas where the two chains overlapped.

As a result Poundland threatened to walk away from the deal.

But the investigation concluded Poundland would still face competition “from other value retailers such as B&M, Home Bargains, Wilko and Bargain Buys, along with Tesco and, to an extent, Asda.”

Consequently, the investigation report stated, customers would not face a reduction in “choice, value or quality of service as a result of the merger.”

The CMA found that, along with Poundworld, the companies are each other’s “closest competitors”.

At the time the merger was approved Poundland had 650 stores across the UK while 99p Stores had 250.