Fashion retailer Select has hired property firm Cushman & Wakefield to spearhead a hunt for 200 new stores over the next five years.

The discount women’s fashion retailer has set a target of opening 40 stores a year over the period and is targeting an increase in its presence in London, the South and Southeast.

Its strategy contrasts with many of its high street rivals, which are seeking to slim down their estates as online shopping becomes increasingly popular.

The retailer opened 30 stores last year to bring its portfolio to almost 150 shops. It is now seeking stores of between 2,500 sq ft and 4,000 sq ft.

Select is looking to expand its estate as consumer spending remains under pressure and its budget fashion offer appeals.

Select has also developed its online offer, adding features including a recommendation tool and improved usability in the last year.

James Merrett, partner in Cushman & Wakefield’s Retail team, said: “Select has an ambitious plan to expand and is looking to open about 40 stores per year over the next five years.  Select’s acquisition programme is very exciting, especially in the backdrop of challenging market conditions.”

Property agent Rowley Hughes Thompson also acts for Select in the UK, excluding the South east and North of Leeds.