Welcome to Versus, where Londonist takes like for like and decides which one is more likeable.
You’ve gotta pity the Peckhamites. It’s really hard for them to shop anywhere other than Peckham, on account of everything being so darned cheap thereabouts. They’ve got a Lidl AND a Netto AND a Primark for goodness’ sake. AND what on preliminary reconnaissance seems to be no less than FOUR One Pound Shops. We thought they were trying to shed that Del-Boy tag.
Okay, so we can dismiss one of them straight away, for it is Pound S£retcher (or however they spell it), Lidl’s impoverished cousin and not a real pound shop. And another of them gets disqualified for cheating: it’s a 99p shop, and most of the goods in there seem to be around £3.99 anyway.
Which leaves us with POUND BUSTER (quick acting: nothing empties your wallet faster?) and MIGHTY POUND (‘here he comes to make your day/Mighty Pound is on his way!’)(sorry: Londonist can be very silly at times). So Londonist raided its piggy bank, and armed with £2 to spend in each emporium, went shopping.
Now Pound Buster was indeed as it claims ‘the original pound store’ (well, it was in Peckham, anyway). It is more of a Pound Supermarket: it stretches back for aisle after aisle of tacky-abilia. And it is phenomenally busy. Well, it always looks busy, the badly positioned circular till station by the door always has a scrum of unseemly squabblesome housewives by it, and they never actually seem to have time to put goods away properly. Entry to the store requires scrambling over discarded pallets, and navigation (dodging prams and pallet trucks) is a fine art. Londonist star purchases included a rather tasteful (PLEASE don’t tell anyone we said that) abstract female figurine which our aunt will like, and a pack of 6 baskets, for which we’ll figure out a use later on.
MIGHTY POUND is much smaller. But oh-so-much-tidier. You can see the wood(-effect cheese tidies) for the trees(-covered lavatory roll cosies). The staff are personable and veer towards helpful. Our star buys here are a pot of strangely tactile green glass pebbles (which might look nice in the baskets we bought above), and some suction bathroom hooks shaped like taps (oh-God-did-we-really-buy-those?).
Londonist had a lovely, cheesey morning, and could have spent a lot more of its pocket money. On unmitigated ‘tut’ of course. But hey – it’s fun. SO which was the winner? Well, they’re both treasures in their own way. And although Mighty Pound is a nicer shop, we’d have to say that the winner by a shelf’s breadth is Pound Buster. Because for all of the hassle of shopping there, the fact that things are always arriving and flying off the shelves leaves you utterly convinced that you are getting a real, lubbly jubbly bargain.
Photo Londonist's own. With thanks to DeanN for the tweaking.