Dreams set to open 100th outlet as it speeds up openings push

Beds retailer Dreams has accelerated its expansion plans and expects to hit 100 stores by the end of this year.

Dreams announced plans last year to take its 76 shops to 88 by the end of 2003. However, because of rapid growth, the store group has brought forward its growth targets.

Dreams now has 83 outlets, including five in South Wales which it took over from Texstyle World, and the contract exchange process is under way for six more.

The retailer is in advanced talks to acquire a further 12 shops, taking it closer to its ambition of eventually operating 200 stores nationwide.

Dreams is also preparing to build on publicity generated by the inclusion of its bespoke beds in this year's Big Brother house, with a national television advertising campaign costing in excess of£2 million.

Marketing director Greg Suthern said Dreams was not embarking on a 'foolish' expansion plan, but a realistic one. 'We're being quite conservative.

If it's not the right place for us, then we will not open a store,' he said. 'We've been going for 15 years now, but in the past three we've seen really good growth.'

Suthern said that unlike many big-ticket retailers, Dreams had not been affected by the Iraq war or the recent hot weather.