Poundland is taking the fight to Primark with plans to open another 91 Pep & Co fashion concessions in its stores over the next four months.
Pep & Co, which is owned by Poundland’s scandal-hit South African parent Steinhoff, targets cost-conscious consumers, with £5 jeans and £2 bras making it among the cheapest clothes sellers on the high street.
The new tranche of shops will take its total number of locations to around 330, including around 30 standalone stores, compared with Primark’s 212 stores in the UK and Ireland.
As a result, Poundland said it was on track to become one of the top 15 UK fashion retailers by volume of clothes sold.
Pep & Co opened its first UK stores in 2015 and grew by targeting neglected “secondary high streets” in places like Bootle, Gateshead and Catford. Its prices start at £1 and 95pc of its range costs £10 or less.
South African fashion giant Pepkor, which was sold by its founder Christo Wiese to Steinhoff for $5.7bn (£4.1bn) in 2014, currently owns both Poundland and Pep & Co.
Steinhoff was engulfed by crisis in December, when its chief executive Marcus Jooste resigned after irregularities were discovered in its accounts.
That forced Pepkor Europe, which is led by former Asda boss Andy Bond, to secure £180m in funding from US investment firm Davidson Kempner to replace planned investment by its parent.
Pepkor Europe’s latest available accounts, for the year to September 2016 – before it acquired Poundland – show it chalked up losses of £18.9m on revenues of £29m as it ploughed money into expanding its store numbers.