The Poundland British Challenge

This is a little challenge that we thought that it would be interesting to try: Would it be possible to buy anything from a Poundland that is made in the UK?

The short answer is no.

Actually the issue is that most of their goods are own branded, or generic products re-packaged by Poundland themselves, and have no county of origin on the labels. In fact, we did not find a single item in the store (that was not a food item) that had the country of origin listed. However, looking at the goods themselves one could take a reasonable guess that they are made in the Far-East. This is not to say that the goods that Poundland sell are no good. Actually, on the whole they seem decent-ish quality, obviously not a patch on the premium goods and you can see that the finish on some things is poor… but what do you want for a quid???

It does beg the question how it is possible to design, tool, manufacture and ship this stuff half way around the world and still allow for a profit? It also had us asking whether, as a country, we should even try to compete in this market? Again our answer is probably no.

In our view Britain, needs to rebuild it’s reputation for providing high quality manufacture. This is not so say inherently expensive, as we have found some great quality items made in the UK that are very reasonably priced, but just well made.

When I think about Poundland and how they make their goods so cheap I cannot help but be reminded of something my Grandma used to say “if it is too good to be true, it probably is”

– James



  1. Completely agree. Our labour costs and cost of living is simply too high to make competing on price viable; we should be priding ourselves on making quality, lower-volume products that focus on innovation. After all, we are supposed to be a nation of inventors, but we don’t seem to be much good at business management!

    • And thinking about it – wasn’t it the ‘pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap’ approach that got us into the horsemeat saga?

  2. Disagree. We supply Poundland and our products are Made In Stratford-upon-Avon is all sold at £1 and all Made in UK

    • I have to admit to not seeing any Enliven in the Taunton store we visited. However, having used Enliven I can confirm that it is fantastic not just for the price.

      Congratulations to Poundland if they do stock it.

    • Thank you for highlighting that Enliven is proudly made in England. I will be sampling some this week. Keep up the good work.
      Christopher Tiffin

    • That’s great news about Enliven and good PR work guys I know what I’ll be buying from now on!

  3. Very true James – but hasn’t it been your experience that many of the larger shops are very good at re-branding and not stating the country of origin (e.g.produced for xxxx stores,then a UK address)? To me it’s not far removed from the Fake it British that Kate Hills mentioned on You and Yours – hiding the origin, so that the public don’t have to consider it.

    I think we should also “want” less. We have developed such a consumer economy over the years that we feel we deserve to have lots of products to maintain a certain lifestyle. You have met this challenge head on as you can only buy British so there are going to be certain things you miss. I think you are showing all of us that it’s possible to live normally but also that quality can be better than quantity.

  4. I had a similar challenge recently which I won hands down! Although not from poundland I went to the local hardware shop and got some lovely food/freezer storage containers for a pound.
    The key to their success, they compete on price and their products are everywhere, seems to be down to ongoing investment in state of the art machinery. So whilst I agree we are generally better off concentrating at the higher end, even that need not always be the case. Their products are good quality and amazing value for money.

    • Hello Mike, thank you for letting us all know about your British manufactured goods. I will be keeping an eye on your web site when I need something that you make. Keep up the good work, and the best of British to all our British manufacturers, you do make a section of the population proud.
      Christopher Tiffin

  5. To be fair to Poundland; I listened to a program on BBC R4 earlier this year about Poundland and their idea is very simply “buy large, sell cheap”. Poundland has it’s place. And their simple ethos has made them the success they are. They are opening a lot of new shops this year and will be employing a lot of people.
    For the purpose of your project ~ avoid Poundland!

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