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New Poundstretcher CEO highlights importance of discount stores in cost-of-living crisis

The new CEO of Leicestershire-headquartered discount chain Poundstretcher wants the business to play an even bigger part in helping struggling families through the cost-of-living crisis.

Derek Lawlor was appointed in July and has pledged to make the business the best it can be for both its staff and its customers, against a backdrop of soaring inflation and economic uncertainty.

This includes ensuring that Poundstretcher’s 337 shops can rely on a steady supply of branded goods so customers know what to expect when they visit the stores.

Derek Lawlor, CEO of Poundstretcher, said: “The price of everything is going up and everybody is going to have less money to go around. In a world with a cost-of-living crisis, I think we can do a good job to really make people’s pounds go a bit further.

“We need to make customers more aware of the value we have, which in turn brings more customers in. Poundstretcher is already excellent at running a low cost operation and the high street discount channel as a whole is well placed during a cost-of-living crisis to help customers.”

Mr Lawlor has worked in retail for 31 years and has had executive roles with large retailers. He also chairs GroceryAid, a charity which helps workers in the sector facing financial hardship.

Derek Lawlor continued: “Poundstretcher is a wonderful business and there are a lot of growth opportunities, so to work with the team is really exciting to me. It’s a great brand with the ability to grow within the most competitive food market in the world.

“It’s very different to larger retailers and I think that’s what’s wonderful about it. We have 337 stores and 5000 colleagues, and we can get behind each of them to help our customers.”

Derek Lawlor will work alongside Poundstretcher’s owner Aziz Tayub, who becomes Chairman of the business.

Aziz Tayub said: “Derek’s remit is across the board – he is going to be a good CEO for this business.

“We want to get the business more customer orientated by getting the product range right and through marketing and getting the right price. Our prices are already cheaper than our competitors, even within the discount sector. We are perhaps the best kept secret in the retail trade.”

Established in 1981, Poundstretcher is a family-owned retailer with a strong high street presence with 337 stores across the United Kingdom.