It was a record festive period for Poundland, with like for like sales in the three weeks to Christmas up 6%.
The retailer, which was bought by troubled South African group Steinhoff for £610 million in 2016, said sales in the week before Christmas were 20% higher than last year, at £59 million. Meanwhile, the controversial Elf Behaving Badly social media campaign showcased its "low cost but highly effective marketing strategy". The Advertising Standards Authority has launched an investigation into the ads after it received 80 complaints relating to ‘overtly sexual’ poses, although the campaign also led to 200,000 "bad elves" flying off the shelves, alongside one million "elf accessories".
“This Christmas, sales have even exceeded our high expectations," says Barry Williams, Poundland’s MD for the UK and Ireland. “Poundland is buzzing, significantly outperforming the market, entering the new year with great confidence.”
Steinhoff is currently engulfed in a €6 billion accounting scandal. Poundland has sought to distance itself from its parent company by striking a separate £180 million loan facility deal with US investment firm Davidson Kempner, in a bid to reassure suppliers. Pepkor Europe, the group that owns Poundland and its Dealz brand in Germany, said that it was "now not dependent on working capital support from parent company Steinhoff International".