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Bargain chain Poundland eyes up bigger unit in Preston after outgrowing its store close by




The discount retailer is eyeing the former Sports Direct unit on the busy Deepdale Shopping Park after overtaking its current store on the same complex.

But a planning condition imposed on the store years ago, preventing it from devoting more than 5% of its floor space to food, threatens to sabotage the deal.

The owners of the business park have therefore asked the council to increase this limit to 15% to allow Poundland to move in. In a statement to the planning department, the owners say: “The proposal is necessary to allow occupancy of the unit by Poundland, who will move from a smaller unit elsewhere in the business park.

Poundland wants to expand its store in Deepdale Shopping Park.

“The proposal will allow Poundland to expand its business operations through the provision of a new and improved store offering a better customer experience and greater retail offering.”

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Sports Direct left the corner unit earlier this year to take over part of the former Toys R Us store. They left behind a store that had 1,417 sq m of ground floor space and 1,138m² on the mezzanine floor – much larger than the current Poundland store.

The budget group, which once had a motto of ‘Yes. Everything is £1’, has only recently extended its nationwide food retail offering to add fresh meat and fish to the frozen ranges that he’s already selling. And Poundland would have agreed in principle to move to the larger unit only if the long-term restriction on food is increased to 15%.

The former Sports Direct store which emptied this year.

The company has launched a new “Cookit” range to help families struggling with the soaring cost of living. The lines are rolling out to 350 of its stores this fall and include steaks, ribs, bacon, sausages, ground meat, salmon and cod fillets. It is understood that prices range from £1 to £3.50.

If the application is accepted by Preston Council, the retailer will be able to offer 385m² of floor space for food sales, which will include both fresh and frozen produce. The company says it has had initial discussions with planning officials and believes the request would be acceptable in principle.

“Poundland’s current unit is now too small for them to sell their entire retail offering and serve their existing customers,” the planning statement read. “There is an opportunity to provide a modern layout and to stock a wider range of products.

“Poundland currently have a store which is trading well in Deepdale. They need flexibility to sell food and drink. This would be incidental to their main non-food sales and purpose. But it is an additional element that the customers have appreciated it as it introduces valuables.”

Poundland wants to add fresh food to the frozen range it currently sells.

Poundland has another store in Preston – in the Fishergate Shopping Centre. It has 13 other stores in Lancashire, including four on the Fylde coast and others in Lancaster, Morecambe, Chorley, Blackburn, Accrington, Colne and two in Burnley.