Dutch value retailer Hema is planning to launch in the UK during the first half of this year.

Hema already trades across Europe with stores in Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg. Hema chief executive Ronald van Zetten revealed on Dutch television that the retailer is eyeing opening stores in the UK and Spain.

Hema, which sells products across clothing, beauty, home and garden and food and drink, operates 524 stores in the Netherlands and employs 10,000 people.

It is a bold move for the overseas retailer which will face fierce competition in the UK value sector from major players such as Poundland, 99p Stores, B&M Bargains, Poundworld, Home Bargains and Poundstretcher.

Hema’s growth eased in the Netherlands last year which van Zetten as the retailer focussed on developing new business including services such as health insurance, marital contracts and wills.