Its empire already stretches from Dundee in Scotland to Fareham in Hampshire. The company is aiming for between and stores in the UK, and has plenty of opportunity to expand. Once the target of snobbery in genteel towns, where openings were opposed by petitions and protests, these shops are now embraced by the middle classes.
The passionate Everton fan has been appointed chairman and plans to build on the work of three brothers from Sale in Manchester. He understands how to take a British brand abroad. The Aroras have used the recession to their advantage to keep up the rapid pace of growth of their business by snapping up low-rent stores from failing businesses, including the DIY chain Focus, Woolworths and the defunct grocery chain Kwik Save in recent years. At the time the retailer mainly sold groceries. The loose model was the successful Dollar General chain in the US and it proved just as successful here. Its empire already stretches from Dundee in Scotland to Fareham in Hampshire. Given their Midas touch so far, don't bet against the Arora brothers fl ying the fl ag all over the Contit i f ti nent in a few years time. Saunders at Conlumino said: Brother Bobby, now 40, went straight into the family cash and carry business after school. For the brothers from Sale, Manchester, who are now one of the UK's wealthiest families, it has been an astonishing success story. Sales at the more expensive shop fell by 70 per cent in the face of the 1p savings offered by the newcomer. This year it was named in the top 10 of Real Business's Hot list of companies to watch. Leading the assault are chains such as Poundland and its rival 99p Stores, selling everything from batteries and chocolate bars to miniature vacuum cleaners and loo rolls for a quid or a penny less. Simon worked for Barclays as an analyst before returning to the North-west and going into business with brother Bobby, whom he describes as "a born trader". However Simon, a father of two in his 40s, spotted an opportunity. From 21 stores in the north back then, the chain now has all over the country and lures three million customers a week. It's estimated there are more than 3, on our high streets, now outnumbering bookshops. Chris Brook-Carter, editor-in-chief of Retail Week, says: Some analysts have hailed discount stores as the saviours of the British high street. There is no longer any stigma attached to shopping in discount stores and they began taking market share from the supermarkets. They do so well because in the recession the shopping behaviour of consumers changed significantly with a very keen focus on seeking out bargains and finding value for money. The brothers also bought the Glynn Webb and Opus Homewares chains, which were part-owned by family members, in and respectively. Once the target of snobbery in genteel towns, where openings were opposed by petitions and protests, these shops are now embraced by the middle classes. They brought in private-equity investment and the expertise of Leahy to help them open stores in at least three new countries in five years. At the time it was based in Blackpool with shops in Lancashire and Greater Manchester but struggling to make money.
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