// New Poundstretcher CEO Derek Lawlor says discount stores vital for families and pledges to help staff and shoppers amid the cost-of-living crisis
// Lawlor says he wants to help the discount chain play an even bigger part in helping struggling families
Derek Lawlor, the new chief executive of Poundstretcher says he wants to help the business play an even bigger part in helping struggling families through the cost of living crisis against a backdrop of soaring inflation and economic uncertainty.
With inflation hitting a 40-year high, the new boss of the Leicestershire-headquartered discount chain said he wants to make the business the best it can be – for both its staff and shoppers.
The former Tesco and Asda executive who just joined the discount chain has worked in retail for 31 years and says he wants to ensure Poundstretcher’s 337 shops can rely on a steady supply of branded goods so customers know what to expect when they walk through the door.
Speaking to BusinessLive, Lawlor said: “The price of everything is going up and everybody is going to have less money to go around. In a world with a cost-of-living crisis, I think we can do a good job to really make people’s pounds go a bit further.
“We need to make customers more aware of the value we have, which in turn brings more customers in. Poundstretcher is already excellent at running a low cost operation and the high street discount channel as a whole is well placed during a cost-of-living crisis to help customers.”
Derek Lawlor continued: “Poundstretcher is a wonderful business and there are a lot of growth opportunities, so to work with the team is really exciting to me. It’s a great brand with the ability to grow within the most competitive food market in the world.
“It’s very different to larger retailers and I think that’s what’s wonderful about it. We have 337 stores and 5000 colleagues, and we can get behind each of them to help our customers.”
Derek Lawlor will work alongside Poundstretcher’s owner Aziz Tayub, who is Chairman of the business.
Tayub said: “Derek’s remit is across the board – he is going to be a good CEO for this business.
“We want to get the business more customer orientated by getting the product range right and through marketing and getting the right price. Our prices are already cheaper than our competitors, even within the discount sector. We are perhaps the best kept secret in the retail trade.”
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