One Beyond

Source: The Grocer

Variety discounter One Beyond is working on getting functioning heating in a handful of stores that don’t currently have it, following complaints from customers.

One Beyond – which is in the process of rebranding from One Below – saw temperatures in some stores dip to 1°C in the recent cold snap, according to customers who have taken to social media to complain.

The discount chain was launched in 2019 by the father and son duo who also founded Poundworld, Chris Edwards Jr and Sr. It has since grown to 96 stores.

Edwards Sr told The Grocer the rate of expansion had been such that in some cases the business had taken and opened stores without functioning heating.

“Instead of going in with an all-singing-all-dancing shop fit, we’ve just taken whatever is there at any given shop,” he said.

He said there had been no complaints thanks to this year’s mild weather, until the cold snap earlier this month.

“I think we’ve been caught out with a few [shops] and we’re trying to put it right,” he said.

“If a shop is too cold for the customer, it’s bad for us and that’s what we’re trying to get sorted.”

Replying to a One Beyond Facebook post about a new store opening on 4 December, one shopper wrote: “Opening new stores but your staff in the St George’s Retail Park in Leicester are having to work in temperatures as low as 1°C. You literally have thermometers in the shop so I could see the temperature.”

Another said: “Poor staff in the new Newton Aycliffe are the same, freezing. Spoke to someone in a hat, puffer jacket and gloves and she looked frozen.”

A third said: “Same as the shop in Chesterfield. It is bloody freezing.”

Edwards Jr told The Grocer the heating had failed in 16 stores during the cold snap, including six in Scotland, in most cases due to burst pipes.

“Out of the 16 stores, eight are fixed and the rest are currently awaiting a visit from the heating company we use,” he said.

“They are a small company and they are getting around as quick as they can but unfortunately it’s taking time due to the location of stores across the country.”

He said there was functioning heating in all the stores that complaints had been received about.

One Beyond is set to open about another 20 stores before the end of February, according to Edwards Sr. 

The initial concept of the discount chain was to sell everything for £1 or less, as reflected by its original name, One Below. The rebranding from earlier this year to One Beyond reflects a new, future and inflation-proofed model of pricing most products at £1 or more.

The retailer’s latest marketing material boasts: “Amazing value from £1.”