FIRST there was 99p Stores, then the 89p Extra Stores . . . now a Poundland is coming to the same Hampshire town.

The news has sparked rumours a fierce store war may be on the cards between the three discount shops.

The new Poundland will be on the dormant Woolworths site in Eastleigh and create 21 jobs.

All three low cost retailers have been competing to snap up stores and staff all over the country from the formerly dominant high street name.

For more than five years 99p Stores reigned supreme in the Swan Centre but last month new rival 89p Extra Stores opened its doors just yards away in High Street.

However, from next month both retailers will have to fight it out with the discount giant opening up by Market Street.

Poundland’s trading director, David Coxon, says: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be opening a store in Eastleigh, creating jobs and great shopping opportunities.

“I’m sure the savvy shoppers in the area will be delighted by the amazing value that Poundland offers.”

However, Hussein Lalani, 99p Stores’ commercial director, said he would not be giving up his customers without a fight.

He said: “I would say we have more branded products than them.

“We have a saying when we compare ourselves with Poundland, twice the range, a penny change.

“We have more products, more branded products and we are a little bit cheaper.

“Discount stores have been doing very well since the credit crunch and we have loyal customers in Eastleigh, they might have a look around Poundland but I am confident they will come back.”

He went on to say while he would not change his prices he would put together special offers to make sure he gave better value than his two rivals.

The owner of the family-run 89p Extra Stores, Anoushka Annauth, said her cheaper shop would hang on to customers because they have the best customer service.

She said: “We always go the extra mile for our customers, if they want something that we don’t have we leave no stone unturned to get it for them next time.”