Discount chain 99p Stores intends to open 70 new high street shops and create jobs for more than 2,000 people

A chain of discount shops has revealed ambitious plans to open 70 more outlets across the UK in the next two years and create more than 2,000 new jobs.

The 99p Stores group, which currently has 240 shops, intends to take that number to 310 by the end of 2015 and has arranged 25 million of extra funding from Barclays to help make it happen.

The group, which has grown in size after the collapse of the Woolworths chain five years ago, wants to employ around 30 members of staff at each store.

They sell more than 5,000 99p items such as cosmetics, DIY goods, drinks, food, gardening items, gifts, partywear, pet care products, sweets and toiletries.

Like its biggest competitor Poundland, 99p Stores have become a permanent fixture of town and city centre high streets. It is thought Poundland will double its total of shops to around 1,000 and enter the stock market in 2014.

The founder and chief executive of 99p Stores, Nadir Lalani, is proud of how his company has performed so far but he is sure it can grow even bigger.

He began the chain with a shop in Holloway in London in 2001 with the assistance of his sons, Hussein and Faisal.

He expanded to a further three shops that year and now the firm welcomes some two million shoppers through the doors of its shops every week.

Mr Lalani has added 30 Family Bargains stores and Euro 50 shops in Ireland. His son Hussein is the chain's commercial director.

He says 99p Stores has recently opened two shops in Scotland and the group is looking to expand further north of the border by opening more high street shops and Family Bargains stores on retail parks.

The chain has recently added the expertise of former BHS manager Tony Brown, making him its chief operating officer.

His job is to help the expansion and improve the performances of some of the chain's existing shops. Four stores are not doing as well as expected but it is hoped they can improve in the future without the need for any closures.

Copyright Press Association 2013