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Money Saving Store.
The 99p Store
Member Name: Diamonds08
The 99p Store
Advantages: Can save loads of money!
Disadvantages: Some not so great items, busy stores.
I had never really heard of 99p stores until my boyfriend and I went Christmas shopping in Birmingham recently. My boyfriend joked (well at least I think he was joking) that my eyes lit up when I saw the store, because it was one whole penny cheaper than shopping in Poundland. Obviously I just had to go in and see if there were any bargains to be had.
There are currently 117 stores across the UK by an Entrepreneur named Nadir Lalani, according to the website he has an aim to have at least 200 stores open by 2010.
The particular store that I went in was really quite big, although I cant be sure whether all stores are the same or if this is just because it was a city centre store.
It wasn't anything special - if anything it could have done with a bit of updating, but then I guess that doesn't affect the stock.
I was actually quite surprised how different the store was to the Poundland stores I have been to. Most Poundland stores are untidy, with stock lying in boxes all over the floor. However at this particular 99p store everything was tidy, in place and shelves were fully stocked - they must have very efficient staff!
I could tell immediately that it must be a popular store with bargains to be had as the isles were absolutely packed with customers. Whilst I found this very frustrating at not being able to get through, I also saw this an advantage that so many people wanted to be there.
Some of the most popular products that are available fall into the following categories;
Toys and Games
I was very impressed at some of the well known brands that were available such as Heinz, Johnson's, Nivea and Cadburys.
A few examples of the bargains that I picked up in store include a 1kg bag of Cadburys hot chocolate powder - a random buy I know! But we use so much in our house and spend up to £2.00 on a small jar, so for us this was a bargain and will last ages!
I also managed to get a pack of five Weetabix Alpen cereal bars (see earlier review) for you guessed it 99p.
However I have to say the biggest bargain I got my hands on was some Nair Pretty Hair Removal. I have previously paid £4.99 for a tube of this, so I took advantage of the 99p price tag and bought myself a few tubes. In the long run this will save me over £15!!
Other things that caught my eye were shampoos, tinned goods, Christmas wrapping paper and gift bags, pet food and treats. I could have easily stocked up on things I usually buy and saved an absolute fortune, unfortunately as we were getting the train home I had to limit myself!
Obviously there is some tat in there, but I was actually surprised to find that the quality of the products and the named brands that were available were a lot better than the ones found in Poundland (in my opinion).
Its just a shame we don't have a 99p store where I live - it's a bit far to travel to Birmingham every time I want something from there!
***Staff and Customer Service***
I wasn't overly impressed with the staff, but to be honest I don't really expect to be in cheap stores.
However I have to admit the one thing that really annoyed me was no acknowledgement from the cashier that served me. Instead he continued to speak to his colleague next to him in a different language. Now I am well aware that Birmingham in particular is very multi-cultural and I have absolutely no problem with that, however I personally find it very rude when someone is serving me yet speaking in a different language.
All the staff look thoroughly miserable, however they do seem to be efficient. The shelves were well stocked and the long queues did go down very quickly.
Some real bargains to be had here, in my first trip here I saved well over £20 on things I have bought from elsewhere anyway.
There is some rubbish in there, but it is well worth a look.
Thank you for reading, this review will also appear on ciao under the same username.
Summary: I will definitely be going back again.