By Mark Davidson
Value retailer 99p Stores is claiming to have “conquered” Middle England following the opening of a new store in the affluent Hertfordshire town of St Albans.
In a statement, Commercial Director and co-founder of the business Hussain Lalani said the company was nervous about the new opening after negative comments made on Facebook regarding store openings in The Cotswolds and The New Forest, but the first few days of trading have been positive.
Queues containing more than 500 people formed ahead of the opening of the St Albans shop, and now 99p Stores is targeting new stores in areas of the UK with similar clientele.
Lalani explained: “The first few days of trading have been phenomenal and we feel we have now pretty much conquered Middle England and plan targeting more perceived affluent areas.
“Hundreds of eager bargain hunters stood patiently in line before bursting through the doors when they finally opened. Shoppers young and old jostled for position as the shop opened in St Peters Street.”
In an interview with Retail Gazette last August, Lalani said he believed 99p Stores’ rise to prominence in recent years - it now has 139 stores - has helped boost retail in the UK by taking over previously empty sites and encouraging shoppers back to the high street.
99p Stores took over a large portion of the old Woolworths sites across the country, breathing new life into towns left with large, empty units to fill following the former high street mainstay’s demise.
Hussain also remains of the belief that there is a marketplace for 99p Stores in many more parts of the UK.