High Street

Poundworld founder Chris Edwards says retailer was ‘badly managed’ by TPG

Chris Edwards, the founder of collapsed bargain retailer Poundworld, has criticised its owners TPG claiming they “badly managed” the chain.

Poundworld’s remaining stores are all set to close by 10 August after it fell into administration on June 11. Private equity firm TPG attributed the collapse to a change in consumer behaviour and the struggling retail market in the UK.   

However Edwards, who sold the business to TPG for £150m in 2015 and made a last ditch effort to buy around 180 stores, said that it was instead down to TPG’s management.

He said: “The new owners made expensive decisions that the business couldn’t take. They started recruiting people from supermarket backgrounds, who didn’t understand the discount, fixed-price model and with this they blew the firm’s wage structure.

“Then, they started selling multi-price products completely ignoring Poundworld’s USP, which was its amazing range of products that were all priced at just a pound.”

“In my opinion the administrator deliberately slowed down any potential sale of the business to generate more cash, with no thought for the jobs that would be lost. In the last seven weeks, I’d estimate the business turned over approximately £40 million and we’ll wait and see where this money ends up,” he added.

TPG declined to comment on Edwards’ comments.

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