99p stores will expand number of branches by 40%


Value retailer 99p Stores is set to offer more of its affordable product range across the UK.

Partnering with Birmingham based property firm Harris Lamb, economical shoppers across the Midlands and the North of England can expect to see 150 new stores pop up over the next three years. After the 250th store opened its doors in Northampton last month, another nine or ten will open before Christmas. The next will be in October as part of a new retail park in Cirencester.

The expansion plan comes after 99p Stores has experienced a steady growth, now seeing a footfall of more than two million customers every week. David Walton, head of retail at Harris Lamb told Retail Gazette how prime locations are sourced.

“We take databases of key spots and use demographic figures” Lamb explained. “In order to locate the most suitable outlets, we look at rental levels and property trends in retail. Then there‘s the old fashioned way of visiting sites and seeing if they‘re busy”.

Suitable sites will boast ground floor sales areas of 5,000-10,000sq ft, storage areas of between 2,500 to 4,000sq ft and have open A1 consent.

99p Stores‘ marketing strategy sees the focus on opening new shops “rather than on advertising” Tony Brown, chief operating officer tells us. “We review our three year plan every year and foresee further expansion post 2017. We appointed Harris Lamb because they have the capability to seek out the best proper opportunities” he adds.

Retailers like the 99p store serve customers well as a place to visit in between their main food shops. “Customers might do their fortnightly grocery shopping in Waitrose, but pop into their local 99p store when they‘ve run out of deodorant for example” Brown explains.

It will be interesting to see how the chain places its new stores in accordance with main competitor Poundland which it undercuts by a penny.