A new sign that Britain’s middle classes are becoming increasingly strapped for cash has been that the popular pound store, Poundland has started accepting American Express cards. The credit card is usually associated with a certain amount of prestige and would not be typically associated with discount stores.
However, the company have reported that in recent years more people are asking to use the credit card is a method of payment, something that has not been available before.
In Poundland, everything retails for the same price, one pound, and it is something that has become increasingly popular with the middle-class, since the economic recession set in.
The company focused on attracting a new base of middle-class customers and they estimate that around 10 percent of their customers last year were in the AB socio-economic group. This grouping means that they are professionals or white-collar workers.
The chief executive of the company, Jim McCarthy, has stated, “The middle classes no longer feel embarrassed about shopping at our store. There has been a change in culture as now people are more willing to boast about money they have saved, rather than money they have spent.”
The collaboration between the store and American Express has shown that even upmarket companies are willing to work with discount retailers. In the last three years, the number of discount retailers on the high street has increased as people have been looking for better deals in order to suit their diminished finances.