Ipswich: Opening salvo of predicted 99p and Poundland store price war in Carr Street

Kamil Osman, South Operation Manager at 99p Stores Ltd, and Nadir Lalani, Chief Executive.

Kamil Osman, South Operation Manager at 99p Stores Ltd, and Nadir Lalani, Chief Executive. - Credit: Archant

A predicted price war between the bargain basement stores on Carr Street got into full swing today.

Yesterday Poundland dropped their prices to 95p, just a day before the opening of the 99p Store branch across the street.

The 99p Store has responded by opening the branch today with prices reduced to 94p.

It is understood the decision was made yesterday by the Chief Executive of 99p Stores Ltd Nadir Lalani.

Today Mr Lalani said: “We won’t drop this, we will always be a penny cheaper, since we started twenty years ago, we’ve been a penny cheaper.”

The CEO of Poundland, Jim McCarthy, said: “Poundland always aims to offer great quality products for amazing value to all its customers.

“Like all retailers we test competitor response options all the time and this is just one of a number of tactical options.”

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The 99p Stores branch is the third bargain basement store to open its doors on Carr Street, which also includes four charity shops, two betting shops and a small casino.

Borough leaders have insisted they are doing what they can to attract a greater variety of shops to Ipswich.

However Borough Council leader David Ellesmere insisted that in “difficult times” people were seeking good value in bargain stores.

Ipswich Central boss Paul Clement said: “The like-for-like replacement in this location is, perhaps, not surprising.

“The long-term future for this area and for the streets around lie in our recently unveiled plans for a smaller scale redevelopment of the so-called Mint Quarter site, incorporating purpose built retail units in a progression from Buttermarket, some residential content and a new multi-storey car park.

“This is both viable and achievable and is the kick-start that the area has needed for years whilst developers have, instead, pursued totally uneconomic, large scale retail alternatives.”