• Talker was Sarah Mellon
  • The Poundshop started in 2010 as they wanted to spread design to everyone – not just professionals.
  • Their ethos is to have more value beyond belief & less cash more carry.
  • The products that are sold never cost more than 50p to make due to the profit margin.
  • Some of their locations for their shops have been;
  • Haxon St, London (Their first shop)
  • (Finn Williams/Frederick Walzer involved)
  • Roman Road, London
  • When they collaborated with Somerset House, they made £11,000 in 2 & a half days.
  • After this, they then introduced different pay bands £1/£5/£10 where they started an Argos style order form system which proved unsuccessful.
  • So they started trading online but as items were £1 but some would cost up to £10 delivery, this was also not ideal for the brand.
  • They then began to collaborate with companies to market their products without the added costs of store locations.
  • They did make an app but wasn’t successful marketing/sales tool.
  • They tried moving away from London to other cities such as Manchester.
  • They managed to have a window displayed at Selfridges for Bright Young Things. Then they discovered that Selfridges were charging them 20% which meant that they lost a lot of money.
  • After this incident, they decided that they should become more business minded.
  • One important point that she made was that its important to meet people rather than sending emails – anyone can send an email, to get noticed you need to do something else.
  • After all their success within the UK, they were then invited to bring their brand overseas to Tokyo.
  • To increase their market, they tried a scheme called Poundshop Eats which included large cakes and baguettes and they would sell slices for £1 from 1cm to 1inch.
  • This was quite a successful venture and they are aiming to do this again over Christmas.
  • Their products are mainly focused on functionality, she talked about their competition and they have to consider that they offer.
  • Sarah Ferrani a designer created a postcard for them.
  • They’ve discovered that sets are more desirable than singular items, partly because the cost/profit margin can increase.
  • Today people are more careful with their money, we are still in a recession and this must be accounted for with a venture such as this.
  • More people are making their own products and selling them in a number of places such as not on the highstreet which is another popular place to get bespoke gifts that are unique and can be personalised.
  • Etsy is also another competitor of this nature whom they have to consider.
  • WORK
  • Sarah explained that this is hard work but the passion that all people involved have for this idea helped them push forward.
  • When you set up your own company, you have to be aware that you could be the one who does everything; PR, Sales, Customer Service etc.
  • She recommended that you ask for advice before starting your own idea like this.
  • She mentioned the East London Business centre that offers advice for free that will help you.
  • She also advised to get different types of work experience before going it alone and also to avoid being in one industry too long.
  • She said its important to be nice to everyone; be professional when you meet people as you never know who you may need.
  • Her & her team have agreed that when they are no longer having fun and enjoying their work, thats the time that they will stop doing their freelance work and revert back to industry to follow other paths.
  • URL: www.thepoundshop.org
  • If you want to be involved, send them a prototype of something you want to sell and remember their ethos.
  • You can contact them through social media to keep up to date about their work & next opportunity.

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