Inside GHM!: a new player in the variety discount channel

Date : 28 July 2016

We visited the UK's latest discount concept at its first store in Hinckley, Leicestershire, to see what they new retail is doing differently to attract shoppers in such a competitive retailer environment. GHM! (Guess How Much!) and sister clothing company PEP&CO are new retail brands by Pepkor UK, established by ex-Asda CEO Andy Bond, and backed by South African retail group, Pepkor.

'Replenish your home, saving time and money'

Following consolidation in the discount channel with Poundland's acquisition of 99p Stores and considering the challenging trading conditions, it is interesting that Pepkor UK would introduce a new variety discount player to the market. GHM! aims to differentiate its concept by positioning itself as 'helping savvy families with kids replenish everything they need to run their homes, including their favourite brands, at prices they love'. Key elements of this include a strong focus on price, bulk products, and a clothing offer.

Adding clothing to the mix

The PEP&CO clothing range in-store creates a real point of difference for GHM!, allowing shoppers to fill their wardrobes at value prices along with their household cupboards. Up to one third of the store is dedicated to clothing, with the range catering to men, women and children. The brand is supported by the slogan 'Spend a little, get a lot', and value is reinforced with clear, bold round pound prices mostly under the £10 mark.

Meeting shopper missions

As well as meeting the clothing mission, GHM! meets many of the key variety discount shoppers missions which make it a credible player in the UK discount channel. The discounter stocks a decent range of partywear, home decor, groceries, health & beauty and seasonal lines, all of which point to a shopper-centric strategy that fits in with GHM!'s purpose of helping families. In addition, GHM! Hinckley offers customers a cash machine service, something over one third of variety discount shoppers have said they would like to see introduced in-store.

Six locations so far

Following the opening of the first store in Hinckley, GHM! has secured five more locations: Isle of Sheppey, Cardiff, Doncaster, Sheffield and Walkden. At the time of the discounter's announcement, it was revealed that the company could open between eight and ten stores over the summer, so we can expect GMH! to announce more openings in the near future to expand its presence. In just over one year of trading Pepkor UK expanded PEP&CO to 50 stores so we could see similar expansion with GHM!, and now with Poundland part the Steinhoff family, it will be interesting to see if any Poundland stores are converted to GHM! to accelerate this further.

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Priya Chandarana is a Retail Analyst at IGD, specialising in research on the growing UK discount channel. She brings food and wine retail and PR experience to IGD. To learn more about how IGD's research can benefit your business further, please get in touch - [email protected]