Another budget store to open in St Albans

A SECOND cut-priced goods store will be opening at the top end of St Peters Street this week.

The new 99p Stores will be opening next to Poundworld which opened last summer in the place of the former Tesco Metro shop.

It will be the 139th such store in the country and is expected to provide 35 new jobs.

Boss of 99p Stores Hussein Lalani, who started the business in North London 10 years ago, said: “When we opened in 2009 in the Cotswolds and in the New Forest, Hampshire, there were a few die-hards who wrote to local papers saying they didn’t want a 99p Stores on their High Street.

“But very shortly following both openings the whole community took our store to their hearts. What we offer are branded everyday essentials like washing-up liquid, toothpaste, tea and coffee at a half and a third of the price of the long-established High Street stores – as well as 10,000 different products which change weekly and cater for every daily shopping need and nuance.”

But the store has already run into criticism for advertising positions in Polish as well as English and concerns have been raised about the effect another slash-priced goods store will have on the independent stores in the city and market traders.

A St Albans business owner, who did not want to be named, said: “This puts more pressure on already hard pressed local independent shops and the St Albans market traders. To add further insult they have put up a job advert in Polish on the front of the brand new store window.

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“It translates ‘urgently looking for a new store employees working full time’. Local unemployment has soared recently, but I guess you need to learn Polish to get the best chance of a job these days.”

A former St Albans athlete has been chosen to pick 99 items to take home and a local school has been awarded a 99 second trolley dash.

Other offers will be a choice of either a complementary kettle or toaster for the first 99 in the queue and a 17-piece tea set for the first 500 to spend over �10.