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99p Stores tells a good story

You have to admire the chutzpah of 99p Stores. One minute they are cited in a media blizzard as the reason for the closure of a Pound shop that couldnĀ’t handle being under-cut, then they are seemingly about to take over the bulk of the former Woolworths stores, and now they are talking about a flotation within the next three years. By Glynn Davis, City editor

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

99p Stores tells a good story

You have to admire the chutzpah of 99p Stores. One minute they are cited in a media blizzard as the reason for the closure of a Pound shop that couldnĀ’t handle being under-cut, then they are seemingly about to take over the bulk of the former Woolworths stores, and now they are talking about a flotation within the next three years. By Glynn Davis, City editor

There is about as much chance of the latter happening as there is of the company keeping its mouth shut for longer than a couple of days. This is not to knock the b
usiness but just to say that much of what emanates from 99p Stores has to be taken with more than a heavy pinch of salt.

The fact that discount retailer Dollar General has filed for an IPO in the US seems to have been the only prompt required to get 99p Stores talking about its own float plans. Also typical of its PR-infused outpourings was the recent comment by management that they have the aim of catching up with Poundland.

Since the latter has over 220 stores compared with the 99 of 99p Stores, and appears to be adding new stores at the equivalent rate of its rival, then this looks rather unlikely to happen in anything like the near future.

Maybe we should regard its actions as positive because at least it is still hyping the discount story when it has all gone rather quiet from the others in the business. Take the hard discount food retailers Aldi and Netto, they have both lost their UK managing directors this year in questionable circumstances and are saying a hell of a lot less than they did earlier in the year. And as for Lidl, it is being about as talkative as...Lidl.

glynnd@theretailbulletin.com

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