Home Bargains will more than double its store estate to 700 in the next five years as it builds a £70m distribution centre in south Wiltshire.

The value retailer, which at present operates 300 stores, wants to open 400 more by 2018, which will be located mainly in the South. The new stores will create 1,200 jobs.

Home Bargains, which is owned by TJ Morris, has already started work on its new warehouse after it acquired a 64-acre site at Solstice Park in Amesbury, south Wiltshire in August. Home Bargains aims to start operating the 1 million sq ft distribution centre by September 2015.

TJ Morris operations director Joe Morris said: “We make no secret of our ambition to grow to 700 stores over the next five years, which is why Home Bargains needs to be at Solstice Park.

“The strategic logistics location at Solstice Park will provide a vitally important distribution role for us as the centre of gravity for our new stores as Home Bargains moves further south.

“The facility, a substantial £70m investment by TJ Morris, will support 400 new stores and enable economies of scale, which will help keep prices very affordable for our loyal customers and enhance our market position as the discounter of choice. Home Bargains will continue to sell top brands at bottom prices.”

Morris added that 98% of the South of England can be reached within four-and-a-half hours from the new distribution centre, making it an ideal location for its southern store network.

Morris said the new distribution centre will be “the most advanced in western Europe”, and will feature an electronic picking system.

Home Bargains will also build a management training centre next to the warehouse.

Colliers International was Solstice Park’s agent on the deal.