Poundstretcher reveals new visual identity as it reopens ex-UGO stores
Poundstretcher, the discount variety store chain, has reopened the UGO stores that it acquired last month – and has seemingly unveiled a new logo at the same time.
I was in Ashington yesterday, and paid a visit to the ex-UGO Poundstretcher store that adjoins the town’s bus station. Apparently opened on Friday last week, the new store’s signage (above) retains elements of the previous logo (two variants of which, in Didcot and nearby Blyth, are shown below), including a similar font, and white italicised text in lower case.
However, the new visual identity replaces the previously gradated red-orange-yellow background with a solid red one, and adds black shadowing to the letters. The name is also on a single line, rather than split over the usual two; and the ‘£’ symbol is now redrawn in black with a white border on an orange field.
Poundstretcher has a reputation for having had a rather chaotic visual identity over the years, including its brief dalliance with rebranding itself as Instore. A Google Image Search for ‘Poundstretcher logo’, for example, brings up seven different logo and slogan combinations within just the first page. The frustrating thing is that the new fascia is probably the boldest and freshest of the lot, but unless it’s going to be rolled out swiftly across the retailer’s website and 400-strong store estate, it seems a pity to be reintroducing inconsistency just at the point where nearly all stores have been updated – finally – to the previous look.
Inside, the bold red colour scheme is carried through into the navigational signage, which is needed given the tunnel-like aisles created by the high shelves thoughout. Overall, however, the store is fine, and what you would expect from Poundstretcher in terms of the product range: a shop packed to the rafters with useful stuff, but, apart from an instore bakery concession, no apparent attempt to take UGO’s place by offering a wider-than-usual grocery range.
As you might hope given that the shop is less than a week old, it was also much more clean and orderly than most Poundstretchers that you come across. It will be interesting to visit in a month or two’s time to see whether those standards – which were always high under UGO’s ownership – are being maintained. Based on yesterday, Poundstretcher will at least have the benefit of more customers than UGO to clean up after.