Work on converting the stores – including the Crawley stores in Queens Square and Broadfield and the Haywards Heath branch in South Road on w/c May 17- gets underway in earnest this week in Phase 3 of the rollout of what is known internally as Project Diamond Ice.
It will take the number of stores that have been given the cool makeover to 175 since the programme began and Poundland anticipates having chilled and frozen food in 250 by the end of September.
For the first time, the programme includes stores in Northern Ireland, as the ranges are included in planned new openings due to be announced in the coming weeks.
Another 70 stores will have chiller and freezer cabinets installed in Phase 4 which gets underway in July and within two years around 500 Poundland stores will have a chilled and frozen food section – enabling customers to buy more of what they need under one roof.
The new ranges were installed at Hinckley and Salford stores at the end of March and this week sees work begin on stores in Streatham, Gillingham, Worthing, Cowley and Thanet and the new Birmingham St Andrews store.
Six new stores – details to be announced – are also included in the schedule for May and June. See below for the list of stores being converted in Phase 3.
Items in the range include everyday meals and snacks, including ready-meals, pizzas and pies, as well as frozen desserts and ice-cream.
New trollies and belted checkouts will be installed in some larger stores to make the checkout experience even easier for customers, especially those wanting a larger grocery store-style shop. They’ll also be able to take their items home in new freezer bags at £1.50 each.
The launch of chilled and frozen in the 46 stores reinforces the role of Poundland as an essential retailer serving its local communities.
The new chilled and frozen ranges have been developed in partnership with Fultons Foods, a leading frozen food specialist which in October became part of the Poundland family in an acquisition that started a £25 million investment in chilled and frozen over the next two years
Austin Cooke, retail and transformation director, said: “The past year has shown how important Poundland stores are to their local communities and providing a range of chilled and frozen food means our customers can get more of what they need in one shopping trip.
“Where we’ve given stores a makeover, the feedback has been tremendous. Shoppers love the extended ranges, and not just in chilled and frozen, and they really like the store layouts and the work we’ve done to make it easier to shop and check out.”
The chilled and frozen food programme has been accelerated following the acquisition of Fultons Foods and has seen expansion at Fultons’ distribution centre in Barnsley and Poundland’s distribution centre in Harlow, Essex, where a new chilled chamber will be operational from August.
A wide range of health and safety measures remain in place in stores to protect customers and colleagues, including social distancing markers, screens at checkouts and robust cleaning regimes. Customers are requested to wear facemasks and stick to government guidelines.