Poundland to strengthen infrastructure in Harlow

News / Fri 9th Oct 2020 at 03:26pm

A YORKSHIRE-headquartered frozen food retail business has been acquired by Poundland. As part of the deal, about 1,000 jobs are set to be created.

Fultons Foods has worked with the company for the last 12 months, enabling Poundland to roll out frozen and chilled foods to more than 70 of its stores.

The acquisition will now enable Pepco-owned Poundland to significantly extend the offer to another 40-plus stores by December, beginning this month in Luton.

The buyer also plans to invest in excess of £25m over the next two years in its chilled and frozen operation to convert the “most appropriate” Fultons stores into a full Poundland format, establish Fultons’ Barnsley base as its national frozen distribution centre and build the infrastructure at its Harlow DC.

Poundland is also to create about 1,000 full and part-time roles through the introduction of chilled and frozen in stores and the transformation of the distribution centres in Barnsley and Harlow.

Poundland expects to bring its chilled and frozen offer to a further 150 stores in the 2021/22 financial year and to as many as 500 stores over the next two years.

Both Fultons co-owners will remain involved in the business. Karen Rees will become managing director reporting directly to Poundland managing director Barry Williams.

Kevin Gunter will continue in an advisory role for six months.

All 800-plus Fultons employees will join Poundland this month.

Williams said: “We couldn’t have developed our chilled and frozen ranges without Fultons’ expertise and now is the right time to move to the next level and bring the team on board.

“By combining our experience, we can accelerate our frozen and chilled rollout and bring the amazing value it offers to more of our customers across the UK.”

Rees added: “For the last 12 months we’ve been proud to partner with Poundland, but even prouder that today we become family.

“We already know the Poundland customer loves our frozen and chilled foods offer – and we’re excited to know our people will be able to play a bigger part in Poundland’s transformation story.”

Gunter said: “After leading the business for 24 years, I’m pleased we’ve been able to agree terms with Poundland who are committed to a renewed period of growth and investment.

“I’m looking forward to contributing in an advisory role over the next six months.”

Jim Whittaker and Rob Umpleby from Grant Thornton Corporate Finance in Leeds acted as financial advisers to the shareholders of Fultons Foods. Ian Morris and Daisy Divoka of EMW acted as legal advisers.

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