Poundland boss Jim McCarthy has claimed its ecommerce site has a “good future”, but admitted there is still work to do to make it the “finished article”.
The retailer launched the transactional site last September after long-running speculation.
Speaking to Retail Week today, as Poundland unveiled fourth-quarter figures, outgoing chief executive McCarthy said the site remained a “trial” as the retailer is still “learning lots”.
Value retailers have been reluctant to move online because of the costs involved. Poundland’s site offers around 2,000 products, with a £4 delivery fee on orders under £50.
McCarthy, who will officially hand over the reins to new boss Kevin O’Byrne in July, added: “It [the site] has got a very good future, but there’s lots of stuff to do with it yet. It’s not the finished article.”
McCarthy refused to be drawn on which products are selling well online, but said items related to celebrations are proving popular.
He flagged that ecommerce remains a small part of the business. “It’s not the equivalent to 500 stores,” he said.
Poundland today reported a 3.9% drop in fourth-quarter like-for-likes. However, total sales in the 13 weeks to March 27 rose 29.5%.
The jump in sales was driven by the retailer incorporating 99p Stores into its estate, following last year’s acquisition of the chain.
McCarthy revealed today that 204 of its 99p Stores had been converted to Poundland shops in the space of four months, bringing Poundland’s total store estate to around 900. About 20 of the 99p stores will not be converted and are expected to be offloaded.
Poundland is also set to trial an, as yet unnamed, multi-price format in the Family Bargains stores it acquired as part of the 99p deal.
The first trial store is due to open in the south of England this month, with five more trials planned. McCarthy said at Retail Week Live last month he saw scope for up to 70 stores under the format.