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Debt stricken households prompt rise of discount shops

Walk down any high street in the UK and a multitude of so-called ‘pound shops’ offering mega-cheap products abound, with increasingly less and less higher end quality retailers. However, in shopping malls the reverse was true but the trend for discount deals is growing and the retailers at the cheaper end of the market are now starting to make their presence known in shopping centres too.

The financial crisis in Britain has led to many households shopping on a budget, with those in debt struggling to make ends meet and many others only just managing to stay out of real trouble. The increase in the number of specialist discount shops has therefore been a boon, with products available right across the board from clothes, to food, to household goods.

The demise of Woolworths has provided an available space for many discount retailers to get a foothold on the market, with many of the empty outlets being snapped up by one of the budget brands. Recent research by Trevor Wood Associates, retail consultants, shows that Poundland is the fastest growing retailer in shopping malls right now, with a 56% increase in tenancy rates. In the clothing market, Peacocks and H&M appear in the top 10, along with discount stationer Card Factory and the emergence of Greggs – the bakers who offer bacon butties – as well as fast food outlet Subway. Shoe Zone and Wilkinson are two other big name budget retailers also enjoying a surge in growth rates.

Research also showed that the effect of rising petrol prices on household finances was causing a change in shopping habits with many more individuals opting to cut back on trips to shops further away and 31% saying they will switch to shopping online; with households with children and those in the north of the country two of the groups most affected.

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