homepage is claiming 10,000 hits

B&J Supplies, a Manchester-based wholesaler specialising in health and beauty, is the latest company to attempt to bring the £1 discount model online.

Founder Garry Almond, who supplies corner shops and discounters including 99p Stores and Poundworld from the B&J depot, said he launched on 21 February to tap the trend of people searching for good value products online, and was targeting both retailers and consumers.

“You’ve got to move with the times,” said Almond. “We’ve had 10,000 hits on the site and 1,000 transactions. The stats are well above what we anticipated - which is phenomenal. Most people have spent more than £20.”

The site currently lists 500 lines across categories including confectionery, household and babycare, all of which are stocked at the Manchester depot. Almond said the site would have 1,000 lines by next week.

Orders are delivered by TNT, with a flat fee of £3.50 for standard delivery, or free delivery for orders over £20.

Some stock, Almond added, was residual, and low overhead costs meant the company could sell at a discounted rate, giving the online model an advantage.

“Expenses have gone so high that I think in the near future a lot of these pound stores will have to up prices to £1.50,” he said. “Raw materials are going up, wages are rising, and electricity rates are going up. It’s all nibbling into profits.”