Today Poundland was trumpeting the opening of its 300th store, in scenic Cirencester.

That landmark is the latest staging post in a meteoric rise for the single-price retailer, founded in 1990 and sold to Warburg Pincus in May for £200m.

The chain recently unveiled plans to take on the grocery market in earnest (without losing its fixed-price identity). It’s also taking on 2,000 extra staff for Christmas, having last year made 300 of those workers permanent.

And if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Poundland can feel all warm inside about the continued popularity of round-pound price points among the major multiples.

Along with the growth of the supermarkets’ convenience operations, Poundland’s expansion has been one of the most noticeable features of the high street’s changing face in recent times.

No fewer than 55 former Woolworths stores have come under its banner since the demise of the variety retailer, including what became its largest store to date.

As if to underline its ability to turn Jim McCarthy’s ambition into actual flags on maps, Poundland also swallowed up the former HQ of shortlived supermarket ‘chain’ Asco.

That move demonstrated amply that there’s more to taking on the supermarkets than talking a good game – something the likes of Aldi and Lidl are now finding out for themselves.

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