One Beyond

Source: One Below

A new store that opened recently in Chesterfield, under the new ‘One Beyond’ banner

Variety discounter One Below increased sales by 23% to £79.3m in the year to 31 January 2022, as nine new stores were opened.

Sales were also aided by the easing of coronavirus restrictions across the UK, boosting footfall and customer confidence, according to newly filed accounts at Companies House.

However, operating profit dipped 8.2% to £2.4m amid soaring shipping costs.

The discount chain, launched in 2019 by the father and son duo who also founded Poundworld, Chris Edwards Jr and Sr, traded from 79 stores at the end of the period.

The business also extended its distribution centre in Darton, Barnsley, adding a third chamber and creating the capacity to serve up to 125 stores.

The Covid Delta variant “adversely impacted the supply of goods from east Asia”, the accounts said.

“This has led to unprecedented inflation in the costs of shipping, which has increased by as much as 600% during the year.”

The accounts also set out how the chain is rebranding to One Beyond, reflecting a new pricing strategy, as reported by The Grocer last month. Instead of everything costing £1, as reflected by the original name One Below, nearly everything is now £1 or more, as a safeguard against inflation.

“In response to significant inflation, the business has successfully rolled out a multi-price strategy,” said the accounts.

“The aim is to offer an increased range of products whilst maintaining excellent value for money for our customers.

“To further facilitate this strategy, the business is undergoing a rebrand from One Below to One Beyond.”

The new pricing strategy has been introduced “across all stores, to give the business the flexibility needed to maintain excellent customer value whilst protecting from inflation”.

Speaking to The Grocer in September, Edwards Sr, the business’s chairman, said the new approach provided future-proofing and a way out of the inflationary “trap” of a £1 ceiling.

“To keep everything for £1 or less we’d have to take too many items out of the shop,” he said. “We were making it work but we always said those days would come to an end, and with everything that’s going on in the world now it’s just impossible.”