Value retailer QD Stores is embarking on a rapid expansion plan as it takes advantage of shoppers’ search for low-cost deals in the recession.

The retailer – which owns the QD Stores chain, four Cherry Lane garden centres, a Lathams store in the Norfolk Broads as well as a Buyright store – seeks to have 50 stores trading across the group by the end of next year. It has 31 stores at present.

Managing director Justin Farrington-Smith would not reveal trading figures but said: “We’re very pleased with trade at the moment. We’re seeing the benefits of our in-store investment programme.

He said QD is “giving customers great prices on products they need” and when the economy moves out of recession it will be able to offer “great prices on products they aspire to”. He said the retailer will “motor” when the UK moves out of recession as shoppers will still want value prices.

Farrington-Smith said the value retailer, which offers 40,000 lines across food, clothing and homewares, and has an emphasis on home improvement, has benefited from the demise of value homewares retailer Rosebys, which collapsed last year.

Farrington-Smith said the retailer is also being visited by a greater number of wealthier customers. “In market towns we’re seeing Range Rovers in the car park,” he said

The retailer trades from 1 million sq ft of selling space and will be refitting all its stores over the next 18 months. Property agent Birchall Steel is acting for QD Stores.