Fashion shop Pep&Co to create more than 500 new jobs
More than 500 jobs are to be created this summer as part of plans for a chain of 50 town centre discount stores selling family fashion.
Pep&Co plans to open its first outlet in Kettering at the beginning of July, with other stores set to open across England, Wales and Scotland in the following two months.
However, the company said it had no plans to open in Northern Ireland.
The Watford-based business is backed by an initial £20m of investment from investment vehicle Pepkor UK, which was co-founded by former Asda boss Andy Bond last year.
Pep&Co added that its South Derbyshire-based distribution partner Clipper Logistics will also create a further 40 jobs as a result of its expansion.
The retailer said it plans to create a variety of full-time and part-time jobs ranging from store managers to sales staff.
Other store launches include locations in Birkenhead, Hemel Hempstead and West Bromwich.
Pep&Co said the openings will be on what it calls secondary high streets, areas which retail observers say have flagging town centres.
Mr Bond said: "Over the past few years, we Brits have been falling back in love with our high streets by shopping in smaller locations at stores offering real value. My ambition is that Pep&Co will be the first true town centre fashion value store, able to build on the example of new value food and general merchandise retailers."
The retailer's day-to-day operations will be led by managing director Adrian Mountford, who has held senior roles at Matalan, Sainsbury's and Bhs.