Customers dismayed at Poundworld’s demise as chain calls in administrators
- Credit: Archant
Shoppers have expressed sadness at hearing that budget retailer Poundworld is the latest chain to enter administration.
Poundworld’s woes puts more than 5,000 jobs at risk at its 355 stores, including those of staff at the Ipswich store on Tavern Street, which has been operating for the last three years.
Although Poundworld will be continuing to trade as normal for the time being, on Tuesday afternoon, Poundworld shoppers Cassandra Whinney and Katie Pickering, 18, were eager to stock up on kitchen utensils while they still could.
“Katie will need these things for university, and I said ‘go and get them now while Poundworld is still open’,” said Miss Pickering. “We live in Stowmarket and usually shop there, but Poundworld is good for bits and bobs.”
June Cooper of Henley Rise, Ipswich, shops at Poundworld for her medication, as well as for tea and coffee. “I’ll be sad to see it go,” said the 75 year-old. “I worry that it’s a sign of dreadful things to come for our high street. Sometimes I wonder ‘is it worth going into town?’. But I’ll keep going while there are still shops to visit.”
The UK’s retail woes have been blamed on the rise of internet shopping, and Ivan King, 60, a BT employee of Whitehouse in Ipswich, admits he finds himself increasingly buying goods online. “It’s a shame when places are closing, but that’s the reality of life at the moment as all the stores are going online,” he said.
News of Poundworld’s troubles came as no surprise to Shane Daly, who works at the Timpson store next door.
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“I was wondering why half the stock in there seems to have gone,” he said.
“It feels like there’s constant chopping and changing in this part of Ipswich – Virgin, BHS and Phones 4 U have shut down, and Accessorize and River Island have changed premises.
“There are empty units everywhere. If I didn’t work in Ipswich, I’d go to Bury St Edmunds – they’ve got it right, with cheaper parking and gardens.”
Mr Daly also said shoplifters had played a part in making life harder for retailers. He said: “Businesses see that. Every day, I see Poundworld staff having to stop shoplifters.”
Mr Daly believes that another vacant unit will affect footfall at other town centre stores, adding: “There will be even less reason for people to bother going into town.”