What’s gone wrong with Poundland’s £55m plan to buy 99p Stores?

There’s a spanner in the works

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to investigate Poundland’s plan to buy rival pound shop 99p Stores, after concerns the deal could cause stores to close.

The watchdog’s initial probe found shoppers in 80 areas could also be worse off as the mega retailer would have no competitors in these places, leading to poorer quality and fewer promotions.

The CMA said there was “a realistic prospect of substantial lessening of competition”.

To find out whether it will go ahead we’ll have to wait until the CMA’s full investigation is finished, or until Poundland or 99p Stores restructure their business to make it more appealing to the CMA. Such a major undertaking is unlikely though, considering about a third of 99p Stores branches overlap with Poundland’s.

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