Belfast Telegraph

Poundstretcher creates 25 Belfast jobs with biggest store in UK

By Lesley Houston

A bargain outlet has opened its largest UK store in Belfast with the creation of 25 new jobs – just as research claims that income growth in Northern Ireland is slowing down. Poundstretcher said its new 35,000 square feet store on the Falls Road was its biggest in the UK.

The retailer opened in 1981 and now has more than 400 shops across the UK. Its range spans foodstuffs and household brands, storage and garden accessories.

The new Poundstretcher is next to a new branch of sister store Pet Hut, a value pet supplier selling discounted animal feed and accessories. The new positions include 25 full-time employees and one pre-existing store manager.

Patricia Jones, Poundstretcher store manager, said the new shop would build on its reputation for giving customers a bargain.

"Poundstretcher has built an incredible reputation for value and choice since 1981," she said.

The growing discounter industry comes as the latest income tracker from supermarket Asda showed income growth in Northern Ireland declined by 6.9% in the second quarter of this year.

The tracker showed family spending power continued to rise year-on-year here for the third consecutive quarter but that the rate of growth in discretionary income – what remains after taxes and spend on essentials like rent, utilities and bills have been deducted – has fallen.

The financial monitor revealed families have just £82 a week spare cash – the same as the past three years in this same quarter.

The results show that Northern Ireland families were still lagging behind the rest of the UK where the average household had £171 a week of discretionary income in June 2014 – up £1 from June 2013. The slowdown has been blamed on a fall in labour market recovery and average wages growing less quickly in the second quarter compared to the first.

Belfast Telegraph