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Poundstretcher CEO steps down as company eyes flotation

Poundstretcher’s chief executive Derek Lawlor has left the business following a difference in opinion over where the company should be headed. Lawlor joined the discount retailer… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE NEWS

Poundstretcher CEO steps down as company eyes flotation

Poundstretcher’s chief executive Derek Lawlor has left the business following a difference in opinion over where the company should be headed.

Lawlor joined the discount retailer in the summer of 2022 after seven years in senior roles at the Asda supermarket chain.

In an interview with BusinessLive, Poundstretcher owner Aziz Tayub said he was hoping to float the business this year or next if economic conditions stabilise, and estimated that the retailer will be valued at between £250 million and £300 million.

Speaking of Lawlor’s departure, he told BusinessLive: “He left because he wanted to make a lot of changes, and we couldn’t agree with those changes. This is a company that can’t change dramatically, it needs steady changes, so we agreed that he would leave. He officially leaves mid-May because he is on gardening leave.”

Tayub is currently looking to make some small additions to its management team, including a new chairman, but is still planning to be part of the business for “a few more years at least”.

Poundstretcher is now debt free following its CVA last October.

Giving more details on the proposed IPO, Tayub added: “It will happen when the market is right, more than likely this year. We’ve just come out of the CVA so it’s easier for us to do it this year than in previous years.

“We will be majority shareholders and we would still run the business – we would still have plans to grow the number of stores by 50 per year or per 18 months. We will try for 50 a year, but have to be cautious.

“We also have good plans to expand our food and toiletries range and have plans to refit existing stores.”

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