Bargain chain Poundland is aiming for 1,000 stores across its empire to cash in on strong growth over the last few years.
The Willenhall-based group said it expected to open at least 60 new stores this year, up from a typical target of 50. The chain, which currently operates from 410 outlets, opened 62 new stores in the year to April 1.
Sales at the group rose 21.6 per cent to £780 million in the 53 weeks to April 1.
Retail operations director Tim McDonnell said: “The marketplace is very hard to operate in. We are having to fight for every penny but, based on these results, it is working.
“We have seen people become very value-conscious in the last few years but we believe we can have 1,000 stores in the UK eventually. We are up to 410 stores now so there are several years ahead for us before we can get to that target.
“Despite all the gloom and doom on the High Street, Poundland is a success story.”
Meanwhile, the retailer is researching where it might expand in continental Europe, but will not open any stores outside the UK and Ireland this year and no decision about which countries to target has been finalised.
Chief executive Jim McCarthy said: “We are very aware we need to get this absolutely right.”
Poundland, which is majority owned by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, made its first foray outside the British market with entry into Ireland last year where its discount format “has particular resonance with the Irish consumer,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Poundland continues to offer amazing value to over four million customers every week,” he added.
“Our fixed price makes it easy for families to budget as they can see how much they’ve spent, before they get to the checkout.”
Poundland, Europe’s biggest single price discount retailer, won the 2011 Discount Retailer of the Year award.
Next month the group will open a new £7 million 200,000 sq ft distribution centre at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.