Drinks and convenience group Bargain Booze is to ramp up its expansion plans after bucking the high street gloom to report strong Christmas trade.

Bargain Booze revealed year-on-year sales jumped 20 per cent for the week to December 28. Joint managing director Matthew Hughes said: “There is no reason why we cannot open between 50 and 100 stores this year across our fascias.”

The group operates more than 600 franchise shops under the Bargain Booze, Select Convenience and Thorougoods fascias.

Hughes added: “A credit crunch is never a good thing, but if there is a silver lining we are giving customers what they want and we have not seen the negative effects, which have hit some of our competitors.”

The group launched Select Convenience in 2007 by converting independent shops. Hughes said these stores have also reported growth of about 40 per cent. It opened its 50th Select Convenience store last month. “It is a challenging retail market but the convenience stores are paying off in dividends,” he said.

Hughes explained that the group has a distinctive offer for the UK. “We have a unique route to market with a disciplined franchise model and there are several thousand independent stores still out there,” he said.