Retail news round-up on February 18, 2014: Poundland publishes intention to float, Dixons launches counter-attack against after share price falls, footfall in Northern Ireland drops 2% in January and Tesco loses 6.6% market share in Ireland

Poundland publiishes intention to float on the stock exchange

Poundland has officially announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange. Poundland said it intends to apply for admission of the shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the main market.

Poundland has also hired group HR director for Merlin Entertainments Tea Colaianni and former Travelodge boss Grant Hearn as independent non-executive directors to the board. Poundland also confirmed reports yesterday that former Carpetright boss Darren Shapland and Mondelez exective Trevor Bond have also joined the board.

The single-price point retailer becomes the third retailer to launch its bid to float on the stock exchange after McColls and formally announced theirs in the last six weeks.

Dixons counter-attacks over hype around latter’s flotation

A counter-attack has been launched by electrical giant Dixons against internet rival after the ‘white noise’ generated by the online retailer’s impending flotation knocked its share price, The Times reported. In a note to investors, Dixons hit back at claims from that it was the market leader in online white goods. Dixons told shareholders that it had the largest stake in the British and Irish markets for big domestic appliances and was within touching distance of’s online share. Investors have become jittery that could undercut Dixons.

Shopper numbers in Northern Ireland fall 2% in January

Footfall in Northern Ireland dropped 2% in January against last year, the Belfast Telegraph reported. The plunge in shopper numbers in Northern Ireland sits in sharp contrast to the whole of the UK, where there was an overall rise of 1.6%.But the 2% fall is better than the 8.7% slump in footfall recorded in Decemnber.

Northern Ireland Retail Consortium boss Aodhan Connolly said the figures from Springboard are good news for traders because they show that the situation is looking up, in spite of the recent adverse weather conditions. He added that there was a “small drop” in the number of vacant units across Northern Ireland to 18%. ButNorthern Ireland and Wales recorded the highest vacancy rates at 18% and 16.4% respectively, while Scotland remained flat at 11.1%.

Kantar figures show Tesco loses 6.6% of share in Irish market

Tesco’s Irish market share plunged 6.6%, according to the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, RTE reported. In the 12 weeks to February 2, the UK’s largest grocer represented 26% of the country’s total take home grocery spend, down 1.7% from the same period of 2013. In the corresponding period, SuperValu’s market share rose by 0.7% over last year’s numbers, giving it a share of 20.1%. Meanwhile, Superquinn’s share tumbled to 5.1% from 5.4% during the period. Combining the two would give SuperValu a total market share of 25.2% during the period, making it the second biggest grocery retailer in the country.

Another Irish retailer Dunnes Stores lost 1.9% of its market share to stand at 23.8% by February. Meanwhile, discount chains Aldi and Lidl increased their combined market share by 17.3%, giving them 13.8% of the total market.