This story has been updated by the author 11/02/2014 5.52pm, see bottom of article.
The co-founder of the bargain store Poundland is to launch a Poundshop online store, which claims to be the first single-priced retailer to sell online.
The entrepreneur Stephen Smith and Poundworld will launch Poundshop.com later today, with the slogan “Yes! Everything is still a pound”, but shoppers will have to spend a minimum of £10, as well as an additional delivery charge.
The Poundshop website will open its virtual doors from 2pm today.
Poundworld’s trading director, Chris Edwards Junior commented: “We’re confident that there’s no other UK website that provides the huge range of bargains that we have on our site – all at the price of £1."
Smith founded the physical store Poundland in 1999, and sold his shares for a reported £50m in 2002.
David Lowrence, retail client engagement manager at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said this online launch highlights how the high street has transformed into a channel, with digital and mobile platforms leading the way.
“Consumers are now going online rather than heading to their local high street, due to the growing number of mobile devices and online channels now available,” he said. “However the retailer should bear in mind that running a transactional web (e-commerce) may not be as cost beneficial as expected, as many outwardly successful retailers are discovering.”
More on Poundland
But Lowrence also said implementing a minimum basket spend of £10, and charging a £3.65 delivery charge, could be “cutting across its brand values".
“These factors will be taking products out of the £1 price zone, which may deter consumers to shop online, who could easily just pay £1 for the items in the physical stores. Some of Poundland’s normal customer base also may not be as tech savvy as other consumers, and because of this shopping online will not be appealing to some customers,” he said.
He said it is important for bargain stores to not lose focus on their physical stores, “to ensure that customers can choose the shopping experience most suited to them.”
Update - 11/02/2014 5.52pm
The Poundshop.com website has been hit with "phenomenal demand" following its launch this afternoon which has caused technical issues, meaning users cannot access the site.
Computer Weekly has been told over 5,000 per second have attempted to access the site through out the afternoon.
Poundshop.com is currently working on the issue and hopes to get the site back up and running very soon.