Poundworld founder Chris Edwards to head up rival Poundstretcher

Alys Key
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Poundstretcher has struggled to keep up with rivals

Struggling bargain retailer Poundstretcher is set to be taken over by the founder of one of its main competitors, Poundworld.

Chris Edwards, who founded Poundworld in 1974, is in line to become chief executive of Poundstretcher, the Sunday Times reported yesterday.

Poundworld sold a majority stake to American private equity firm TPG in 2015 for £150m, with Edwards and his son remaining minority shareholders.

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Last year Edwards stepped down from Poundworld, saying it was “time for a break”, but he now looks set to jump back into the so-called ‘Pound Shop Wars’.

It is believed that Edwards will bring his own team when he joins the business at its headquarters in Huddersfield.

Poundstretcher, which originated in 1981, was previously rebranded as part of the Instore group but the branding was later deemed a failure and all Instore shops were converted to Poundstretcher after 2009.

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But the company’s stint as Instore has reduced its visibility among consumers. As well as facing competition from the likes of Poundworld and Poundland, Poundstretcher has struggled with the rival offering of discounters Aldi and Lidl.

The chain is owned by Crown Crest Group, a company owned and run by brothers Rashid and Abdul Aziz Tayub, the latter of whom currently runs Poundstretcher.

It was rumoured earlier this year than Poundstretcher’s owners were in talks with private equity firm Endless about a possible sale of the business, but the firm ruled out this option in June.

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