Boss of 99p Stores hails record results amid plans to create 3,000 new jobs

The boss of 99p Stores said the business was one of the fastest growing retailers in the country.

The boss of 99p Stores said the business was one of the fastest growing retailers in the country.

Hussein Lalani, said the Northampton-based business, which has a branch in Norwich's Anglia Square shopping centre, had enjoyed record annual results including an 18pc surge in sales to �270m.

The value brand also reported annual profit growth figures of 14pc and unveiled plans to create 3,000 new jobs over the next two years as it opens more than 100 new stores.

And it said it believed that an increasing number of its customers are coming from more affluent 'middle class' households.

In the last 12 months 99p Stores has opened 51 new branches – creating around 1,500 new jobs - in the UK and Ireland to take its total number of stores to 194.

And it said the new openings will take the total to more than 300.

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It has also increased its family of customers by 25pc in the last year to around 2m weekly shoppers and said it had the 'strongest' like for like figures in the market of +3.7pc.

'Overall these are record results showing we are one of Britain's fastest growing retailer,' Mr Lalani said. 'Times have changed, spending patterns have shifted - and our record results demonstrate this.

'Our customers are telling us they are fed up of having been 'ripped off' for years and years paying up to three times the price for essentials.

The retailer, which sells a range of 5,000 items has doubled its customer base in the last 18 months.

'Those supermarkets that have been charging two and three pounds a throw for everyday essentials like washing-up liquid, toothpaste, tea and coffee have lost credibility,' Mr Lalani said.

'Very many tell us it has now become 'cool' to shop at 99p Stores. Telling work colleagues, family and friends what you pay when you are shopping has become fashionable.

'The boast used to be how much you paid. Now it's how little.'

He said the last year has seen 99p Stores mature into a 'one stop-shop', rolling out fresh fruit and vegetables into its stores, to sit alongside milk, dairy, chilled and frozen meat and vegetables which have been introduced over the last 18 months.

And in a sign of how value shops were gaining a bigger share of the market, he said that some of the most popular stores are in affluent areas such as Lymington in the New Forest, Stroud in the Cotswolds, Petersfield in Hampshire and St Albans in Herts.

'These outperform many of our other branches and several of these branches are the busiest on their respective High Streets,' he added.

'At 99p Stores if you buy 20 items you know what it will cost you – less than twenty pounds. At other stores shoppers have become nervy – they haven't a clue what the final bill will be.'