Poundworld to close about 100 stores, with 1,500 jobs at risk

Poundworld is planning to close about 100 stores, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk, in the latest grim news from the high street.

The discount retailer is working on a proposal for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), expected during the first half of May.

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Poundworld, which has 355 stores and employs about 5,500 people, joins a growing list of UK retailers struggling to cope with rising costs.

High rent bills and business rates – as well as a weak consumer backdrop and the shift to buying online – have piled pressure on retailers. Poundworld has also been hit by a weaker pound since the Brexit vote because a lot of its costs are in dollars.

The retailer is owned by the US private equity firm TPG Capital, the same firm that owns the Prezzo chain, which is also closing about 100 restaurants through a CVA.

Poundworld’s decision to seek a deal with its landlords, first reported by Sky News, follows a similar move by Carpetright. Its creditors were due on Thursday afternoon to vote on the potential closure of about 90 stores. Toys R Us went into administration in February, triggering the closure of 100 stores and the loss of more than 3,000 jobs. The electronics retailer Maplin and the fashion chain East have also collapsed, costing a further 2,500 jobs, in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, the new chief executive of the department store chain Fenwick, Robbie Feather, told Retail Week magazine that it would be consulting with a “significant number” of its 2,200 employees over the coming months, as part of a restructuring of the business.