By Max Clarke

The UK’s prolonged income pinch has seen a surge in business for budget retailers, as other retailers across the UK struggle.

One retail chain that has thrived in the downturn, capitalising in this surge of popularity for low cost retail, is Northamptonshire based 99p Stores Ltd, which is currently undergoing a rapid expansion thanks to a £20 million investment from Barclays Corporate.

99p Stores and Family Bargains is a fantastic success story in what is a very challenging environment for retailers,” Glen McDonald, Relationship Director in Barclays Corporate’s Retail and Wholesale team said. “The management’s ambitious growth plans to double the businesses’ size and expand overseas are testament to their success, and will ultimately create many new and much-needed jobs”.

The cash injection will see a further 40-50 stores open across the UK, and may spread the popular budget retailer to Ireland.

By contrast, sales at PC World’s parent company, Dixons Retail Ltd (LSE: DXNS), have dropped 10% as consumers cut back on making unnecessary, expensive electronic purchases.

Around the country, vacancy rates for shops have exceeded 12% prompting the government to launch their high street review in a bid to stimulate a much-needed retail led recovery. But with incomes remaining near stagnant as inflation continues to double the Bank of England’s target.


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