Poundstretcher Profiteers

Poundstretcher, which makes ample profits exploiting poorly paid staff in more than 400 shopping outlets across the country, opened its newest store last Friday in Raw Dykes Road, near Leicester City’s King Power Stadium. Poundstretcher being owned by cash-and-carry giant Crown Crest, based on Cobden Street, in Belgrave — which is run by Leicester city businessman Aziz Tayub and his family.

Having opened a controversial  470,000 sq ft  distribution centre at Kirby Muxloe last year, Poundstretcher’s “turnover grew from £348 million to £367 million in the year to March 31”. Such profiteering however does not come easy for Poundstretcher’s employees, as the Tayub families ever growing prosperity relies upon unhealthy levels of exploitation of their 6,000 strong workforce; not least through their participation in the government’s toxic workfare scheme.

One interesting individual who has a long historical association with the Poundstretcher brand is Cambridge educated power-broker John Jackson, who until very recently served as the chairman of Instore plc (which ran the Poundstretcher stores) and which has now been subsumed into Crown Crest. You may or may not know Jackson as a greenie self-sufficiency guru, or as his alter-ego as the former deputy chairman of one of the world’s largest mining companies BHP Billiton (see their “Corporate Rap Sheet”); the former wholesome side of his persona coming before his fame in the mining industry.

Stretching your pounds to enable the profits to flow (for some) of course relies upon cutting plenty of corners to boost revenue, be those relating to paying their staff, or to Poundstretcher’s “reckless disregard for health and safety” of both their staff and customers. Moreover here in Leicester, from the site of their recently closed store on Granby Street we have the perfect example of Poundstretcher’s lack of commitment to the rest of us. This is because in the not so distant past (in 2004 no less) this Poundstretcher’s store was successfully prosecuted by the Council for failing in their “responsibility to safeguard the risk to health of the public and staff” by unnecessarily exposing them to asbestos. But don’t worry, justice was served on this immensely profitable corporation, as they were subsequently fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £9,000 in costs!?

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