Around 1,000 jobs will be created and £25 million invested as discount retailer Poundland acquires Barnsley-based frozen food supplier Fultons Foods.
Poundland has been working with Fultons for 12 months to develop its chilled and frozen food range and build a distribution network to serve stores.
Poundland said it plans to invest in excess of £25 million over the next two years in its chilled and frozen operation to:
- Convert the most appropriate Fultons stores into a full Poundland format
- Establish Fultons’ Barnsley base as its National Frozen Distribution Centre and build infrastructure at its Harlow site
- Create around 1,000 full and part time roles through the introduction of chilled and frozen goods in stores and the transformation of the distribution centres
Both of Fultons’ co-owners will remain involved in the business.
Karen Rees will become managing director reporting directly to Poundland MD Barry Williams.
Kevin Gunter will continue in an advisory role for six months.
All 800-plus Fultons workers will join Poundland this month with no changes to their terms and conditions.
Poundland managing director Barry Williams said: “We couldn’t have developed our chilled and frozen ranges without Fultons’ expertise and now is the right time to move to the next level and bring the team on board.
“By combining our experience, we can accelerate our frozen and chilled rollout and bring the amazing value it offers to more of our customers across the UK.”
Fultons managing director Karen Rees said: “For the last 12 months we’ve been proud to partner with Poundland, but even prouder that today we become family.
“We already know the Poundland customer loves our frozen and chilled foods offer – and we’re excited to know our people will be able to play a bigger part in Poundland’s transformation story”.
Fultons’ chairman Kevin Gunter said: “After leading the business for 24 years, I’m pleased we’ve been able to agree terms with Poundland who are committed to a renewed period of growth and investment.
“I’m looking forward to contributing in an advisory role over the next six months”.