POUNDLAND'S founder Steven Smith is considering a return to the high street with a swoop on embattled retail rival Poundworld.

Mr Smith, who founded Poundland in 1990, is in early-stage talks about a bid to salvage part of Poundworld out of administration, sources said.

Poundworld, which has two shops in Bolton town centre, one in Middlebrook and another in Breightmet, fell into administration on June 11 and the retail chain has started closing down sales, including in Bolton.

Deloitte last week turned down a bid for Poundworld from its founder Chris Edwards, who was looking to save a raft of stores and safeguard around 3,000 jobs.

Mr Smith sold Poundland to Advent International in 2002 and is now a retail consultant and speaker.

His son, Ashley Smith, launched Poundshop.com in a bid to replicate his father's success in the online arena.

Poundworld, which was formerly owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, has 335 stores and employs around 5,100 people.