UnNews:Poundland under investigation for price fixing

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Poundland under investigation for price fixing

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8 February 2015

Poundland

Poundland is under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority for alleged price fixing.

BEDFORD, England -- The UK's largest retail chain Poundland is being scrutinized by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over allegations of price fixing, after confidential information revealed the prices its competitor, 99p Stores, were charging for cat tea towels and bags of scented twigs; triggering Poundland to make a buy-out move.

The CMA opened its investigation on receipt of a leaked memo stating Poundland had secured a deal to buy all 251 99p Stores, in bulk, for 92p each, then re-open them as £1 shops. The move would net the firm over £20, even before it hikes the price of every item to £1.

The investigation is focusing on meetings between key Poundland officials where allegedly, discussions took place on strategys to stop traders undercutting their "benchmark".

Market commentators speculate that this benchmark is used to price a wide variety of Poundland products. This is the subject of regulators' attention, amid allegations that Poundland employees, dressed as customers, were leaking information about how much less the 99p Stores were selling their mops and picture frames for.

Poundland was already under the spotlight after its buyout of Euroland in France. At Euroland stores, investigators found the average price per item of, for example, pornographic playing cards or child’s sun block, was 1.32 Euros, and nobody knows how many pounds that is.

Found guilty of false advertising and overpricing, the chain of stores have had to change their name to Euroishland to comply with EU Legislation.

Bob A. Bucket, Managing Director of Poundland tweeted: “First they don’t like me changing prices, then they don’t like me fixing prices. I’ll probably have to change the company’s name to 'Would be Poundland if the authorities would just let me sell things for a sodding pound-land.'”

Poundland — sweeping up just £370 million profit last year — faces a continual struggle to keep prices down. After all, inflation means that a pound doesn't go as far as it did.

Taking stock from bankrupt companies is a very successful tactic. Also they search out products that have been recalled, are coming to the end of their shelf life or are inherently dangerous — like their electrical goods. And there are companies importing and making cheap baby food, power tools, fake toys and a thousand other things, all for under a pound. Many are made in Yiwu, a city in China that is home to the 9.42 Yuan Shop.

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