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Poundland? Doesn't exactly inspire does it…then again…read on.
Poundland is one of a multitude of budget outlets that sprang up in the 1990s. Its policy is simple. Everything in the store costs one pound (or, if you catch them in sale mood, 50p), Quite a simple philosophy and one could be forgiven for thinking that you are not going to get much for your money. Think again.
Poundland is to Woolworth's (the original penny store) what Kwik Save is to Sainsburys. Commonly perceived as the poor relation, yet in reality, a store that is well worth a visit if you want to save a bob or two (now, what is a bob? I was born post-decimalisation!).
The range of products stocked in your average Poundland is, quite simply amazing. From food to toiletries, plants to silk flowers, toys to tools, it is all there. The fact that surprised me most was that it was not all rubbish either. In the food aisles one will find major brand names such as Mars, Typhoo, Walkers and Nestle. Amongst the toiletries Wella, Max Factor, Nivea and Clairol and in the cleaning section Neutradol, Jeys and Mr Muscle. You will find the cheap brands too but if you shop with care you can save a small fortune. One section of the shop that I find particularly good is their gardening section where (in season) you can pick up seeds, bulbs, plants (roses and fruit canes) together with pots to put them in and food to feed them with for a fraction of the price that you would pay in other shops. Everything I have bought from there has grown well!
Seasonal purchases are particularly good. Christmas sees an influx of decorations, stockings, wrapping paper and cards, likewise at Easter. Halloween costumes and decorations are easy to lay your hands on and so the kids can dress up at no major cost to mum.
Where's the downside then. Well, the shops are packed with products making them very hard to negotiate at times and the positioning of tills near to the doors leaves a lot to be desired. Display tactics are pretty much non-existent, "pile it high and sell 'em cheap" is not far from the mark. You may find that many of the food items are short-dated, they are not out of date but you could not have them hanging around in your cupboards for too long.
For me though, the biggest downside is the fact that they sell out of good items too quickly. This is not a shop that you can rely on. If you want something you have to hope that they have it in stock. This is a shop which requires frequent visits in order to maximise on its potential. They often stock "one-off" lines where they may have 10 items and that is it. I have picked up some excellent items this way such as a Next corkscrew (from the objects range) and a Black and Decker milk frother (to make cappuccinos). Buy the good stuff as you see it, it won’t be there at the end of the day.
Poundland do not have a web-order system although they do have a very basic web site at www.poundland.co.uk. You can obtain a catalogue, however and use them as a mail order retailer. There is a minimum order (£15 if I recall) but the savings that you could make are large. The mail order catalogue does not include everything that they have in the shop (so you will miss out on the next batch of milk frothers!) but it does have all their main lines that are almost always available. The only problem is I cannot recall where I got my catalogue from. Certainly the website has no clear link to request a catalogue.
OK, so why the title?
Wedding Bouquet - made by mum from silk flowers bought in Poundland. I had so many compliments about my bouquet it was untrue! It took mum about a month to get the right flowers (she bought them in dribs and drabs with a fallback of a local silk florist if we couldn't get them in time) but the result was as good, if not better, than the shop bought version. Cost £4 rather than £125 that I was quoted (oh yes, and backache!)
Crystal Glasses - yes, we found some crystal glasses in there (Bohemian Crystal) which matched some glasses that we had been bought for a wedding pressie - a cheap way of completing the set.
Wedding Cake - the tiny bows on my wedding cake came from ribbon bought in Poundland
Camera - the camera would not have worked had I not had the foresight to buy some Duracell batteries the week before.
I got one of my best ever purchases fomr a poundland in Blackpool. Me and my mate bought harmonicas and really annoyed everyone else who was travelling with us on the coach! Mwuhahahahahaaa (evil laugh)!
leeanne 25.07.2001 20:56
I have heard a lot about this shop from members, but I don't have one near me.
Paula_23_uk 23.07.2001 19:31
Excellent op. I live in Wigan and I assuming that the same shop here is known as Poundstretcher. The layout you describe sounds very similar to that of poundstretcher and there are bargains to be found if you are prepared to hunt for them. Great op. Thanks Paula