IN these difficult financial times, we all could all do with saving a few pennies.

But shoppers in Poole appear to have taken credit crunch shopping to the extreme – in the scramble to save just a single penny.

Opened just a few short months ago, Pound World on Poole High Street is being forced to close because recently opened directly opposite is the infinitely cheaper 99p Stores.

A case of in for a penny, but not necessarily for a pound, it seems.

Jamie Lang is area manager for Red Retail, which operates various discount chains across the country, including Poundworld.

He said the rush to the cheaper 99p Stores across the high street had “ripped the best part of 70 per cent” out of Poole Pound World’s turnover.

“It’s amazing,” he said.

“But people will go wherever they can get what they need at the cheapest price.

“Our Poole store only opened in June and things were fairly stable. It would have contributed to the business nicely.”

The extraordinary downturn in Pound World’s fortunes is perhaps a startling sign of the times.

But 99p Stores, one of the fastest growing companies in the country, said it had not opened with the intention of undercutting Pound World.

Hussein Lalani, commercial director for 99p Stores, said: “We never try to directly affect anyone but it is all healthy competition.

“With tight pockets and wallets these days, there is a lot of competition for the pound on the high street.”

But it seems only the opening salvos have been fired in the Poole discount store wars.

Poundworld is to be refurbished this week and should be reopened by next weekend under the new name of Original Save Centre. Mr Lang said he expected Poundworld’s seven staff to all be retained, with extra jobs also created in the new, revamped, venture.

99p Stores also has an outlet in Boscombe and Mr Lalani said it had “very aggressive” plans to add to its 66 stores in 2009.

Did you know you can now get our headlines by email? Click here to find out how...