Belfast Telegraph

Pep&Co opening first stores in Northern Ireland

By John Mulgrew

Budget high street retailer Pep&Co is set to open its first two local pop-up shops

The company is launching a store in Coleraine and another in Londonderry, at sister brand Poundland.

They will open inside Poundland and will offer a full range of women's, men's and children's clothing.

Pep&Co's managing director, Adrian Mountford, said: "We've always thought Pep&Co would thrive in Northern Ireland and I'm delighted our partnership with Poundland brings the brand over much more quickly than we could have done on our own.

"We might be a new brand, but we're one that customers love once they find us.

"The combination of Pep&Co's design and style credentials with pricing that's amazing will help create a brand new option that helps mums on a budget."

In 2015 the Belfast Telegraph revealed the firm was actively looking at locations across Northern Ireland.

The chain sells a range of cheap clothing, including childrenswear for less than £5, as well as homeware products.

Pep&Co previously said its initial opening in Great Britain would be on what it calls secondary high streets - areas that retail observers believe have flagging town centres.

The firm is opening 50 'in-store' shops across the UK in the next 100 days.

The stores are due to include the chain's full range.

The company said it opened 50 stand-alone stores in the space of just 50 days across the UK in summer 2015.

The business was set up by former Asda boss Andy Bond, and was eyeing up Northern Ireland locations at the end of 2015.

The Watford-based business is being backed by an initial £20m of investment from investment vehicle Pepkor UK.

The retailer's day-to-day operations are being led by managing director Adrian Mountford, who has held senior roles at Matalan, Sainsbury's and BHS.

The success of the low-cost clothing business comes as similar companies have entered the market here and expanded.

Primark is currently building a huge extension to its flagship store at Royal Avenue.

It is expecting staff numbers to rise by 100 as a result of the expansion, which saw the Commonwealth House building knocked down to make way for it.

Meanwhile, Danish variety store Tiger opened its first store at Castle Place in Belfast city centre.

And in the world of the supermarkets, the latest figures show German giant Lidl is continuing to take chunks out of the other big name multiples such as Tesco and Sainsbury's.

While it still only has 5.3% of the market here, it is set to expand on its 38 stores.

Belfast Telegraph