Poundworld Merry Shopping Centre-web

Poundworld employs around 5,500 people

Poundworld is reported to be planning the closure of around 100 of its 335 UK stores, putting up to 1,500 jobs at risk.

The discounter is expected to launch a Company Voluntary Agreement early in May.

It’s understood the business, which employs around 5,500 people, will seek to redeploy affected staff but that the closures will inevitably lead to job losses.

Reports suggest the retailer, owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, will also seek rent cuts at remaining branches.

TPG Capital also owns restaurant chain Prezzo, which is closing 94 branches and whose landlords agreed to a CVA last month.

It comes after Poundworld reported pre-tax losses of £17.1m in the year ended 31 March 2017.

Poundworld did not provide a comment.

“Even discount retailers are not immune from overcapacity in the market, weakening consumer demand and improving competitors,” said Catherine Shuttleworth, CEO at shopper and retail marketing agency Savvy.

“Price inflation is also the pound retailer’s greatest enemy. Shoppers are no longer prepared to be fobbed off by smaller products and product reengineering to match a price point.”