Single price point retailer Poundland will accept American Express cards in all 385 stores from today to better serve its growing affluent customer base.

Poundland chief executive Jim McCarthy said: “As the economy has become more difficult we continue to see the ‘squeezed middle’ class shopping in our stores as they seek better value for their money.”

Poundland’s own research in December showed that 52% of shoppers regularly visit discount stores. A third of this group said they would have avoided discount stores two years ago.

It is unusual for single price retailers to accept American Express cards due to the transactional cost of the card.

McCarthy added: “As soon as they realise they can buy their favourite brands and understand that we deliver amazing value, trust and confidence is built and they become loyal shoppers, as well as recommending us to family and friends.

“We expect to attract even more middle class shoppers by welcoming American Express.”