Poundstretcher: move

British value chain Poundstretcher is to make a major move into the Republic of Ireland and plans to open more than 20 new shops here this year.

The aggressive programme is part of an overall plan for the group that will see it increase the number of shops it runs in Ireland and Britain to 500 from 325 within two years. It has about 25 outlets in the North.

The company's agent, Lisney, issued a circular to retail agents last week stating it was looking at shops of between 3,500 and 20,000 square feet in primary and secondary locations. In a boost to landlords with empty units, it is willing to open in high streets, retail parks and shopping centres.

The circular names specific towns being targeted by the retailer but stresses that it is not limiting its options to those locations. Those mentioned include Dublin, Swords, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Letterkenny, Naas, Sligo, Wexford and Tralee.

Poundstretcher sells everything from toiletries and homewares to furniture, electric goods, beds, pet care products, toys and more. It does not operate a single price model and therefore will also be competing with the likes of Heatons as well as Aldi, Lidl and the various pound shops.

Huddersfield-based Poundstretcher was taken private by the cash and carry group Crown Crest in 2009 after an attempt to move into the mid-market failed.