Business

Irish retail family steps in to save Poundworld from extinction

Poundworld UK has been bought by Irish retail family, the Hendersons for an undislosed sum
Gareth McKeown and PA

Poundworld UK has been purchased by the Dublin retailing family, who opened Ireland's original Poundworld store over 30 years ago.

It has been reported that the Henderson family, who have no connection to the Henderson Group in the north, have agreed deal to buy the best and remaining Poundland UK stores for an undisclosed sum, saving the retailer from extinction.

Ray Henderson founded the original Poundworld, which is unrelated to the UK firm, in 1984 and sold it on in 2007, with the company now known as Euroworld.

Ray's son David, who has experience in the retail sector in Ireland and the US, confirmed yesterday their offer has been accepted by administrators Deloitte.

It is believed there are plans to keep around 50 branches open across the UK and the Hendersons have formed a new UK entity, RVP Holdings Limited, to operate the business. At this stage it is not clear whether any of the Northern Ireland stores will be re-opened under the new Irish ownership.

"We are delighted to have agreed the purchase of Poundworld and we now look forward to bringing the company back to profit and provide current and new customers with an unrivalled product offering at low prices," David Henderson said.

Poundworld UK, which was bought by US TPG Capital in 2015 for £150 million, collapsed into administration in June, putting over 5,000 jobs at risk. Since that date administrators have closed over 250 stores across the UK at the cost of 4,000 jobs, with the remainder due to pull down the shutters yesterday. As the deal has not officially been signed off the last round of store closures were due to go ahead yesterday, with the branches included as part of the rescue package to reopen in the future, subject to the completion of the acquisition.

The collapse of Poundworld came amid decreasing footfall, rising costs and weak consumer confidence.

The budget retail chain is one of a number of retailers to call in administrators this year, with Toys R Us and Maplin disappearing from UK high streets.

Poundworld had employed 188 people at 12 stores in the north, with four in Belfast and others in Derry, Armagh, Omagh, Cookstown, Newtownabbey, Newtownards, Craigavon and Bangor.

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