Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards Sr founded Poundworld as a market stall in 1974 and built it up into a chain of more than 250 stores

Poundworld founder Chris Edwards’ new chain One Below is to open its first four shops this Friday, selling thousands of fmcg lines at £1 or less.

A further two are to open the following Friday (8 March).

The target is to be trading in a minimum of 50 stores by the end of the year, located in high streets and retail parks across the UK, and ranging in size from 2,500 to 5,000 sq ft.

Two of the first four stores are in Leeds, one on the city’s Kirkstall Road and one in the suburb of Rothwell. The other two are in Doncaster and South Shields. All are former Poundworld sites.

The two to follow next week are in Manchester Fort retail park and Nottingham.

The shops are to sell more than 5,000 products across 10 departments including groceries, home, health & beauty, baby care, toys, DIY, party wares, craft and gardening.

About 2,500 products – half the total lines – are fmcg, including brands such as Coca-Cola, Pedigree, Heinz, Kellogg’s and Cadbury.

The unique model will see prices starting at 29p and rising to a maximum of £1.

The new chain is being financed and launched by Poundworld founder Chris Edwards and his son, also called Chris. Edwards Sr, who founded Poundworld as a market stall in 1974 and built it up into a chain of more than 250 stores before selling it for £150m in 2014, is One Below’s chairman. Edwards Jr, who built the Poundworld chain alongside his father, is managing director.

Read more: Poundland creates transformation team to reinvent proposition

“We’re excited to return to discount retail with a new name and a fresh concept,” said Edwards Jr, who is also MD of wholesaler Gem Imports.

“One Below will be the only name on the high street offering everything it sells for either £1 or less, with branded and import products costing as little as 29p.

“It was our aim by creating One Below to have a point of difference from other discounters currently in the market.

“The pricing structure also allows us to offer our customers a wider range of products than we had as a single-priced retailer.

“We will be giving shoppers extreme value combined with a clean and simple shopping experience to entice customers to the high street.”

One Below has a head office in Barnsley with 25 staff, said to be mostly from the Edwards’ old Poundworld team. A further 50 people are employed in an adjacent 160,000 sq ft warehouse.

The business expects to create 1,000 jobs by the end of the year.

The first stores are due to open at midday on Friday.