Value retailer and pawnbroker Cash Generator has ramped up its store expansion as it bucks the economic downturn.

It will open 20 franchise stores a year, increasing its store portfolio from more than 70 at present to 100 by the end of 2009. Store openings will be largely inside the M25 and surrounding counties.

Cash Generator managing director Julian Urry said cash-strapped shoppers have flocked to its stores, resulting in like-for-like retail sales climbing 4.7 per cent for the nine months to November 15, 2008. Sales of second-hand goods jumped 18 per cent, while pawnbroking rocketed 101.3 per cent.

Urry said: “The challenging economic conditions are ideal for Cash Generator. The buying and selling of pre-owned or graded [returned] goods has never been more popular. As a result, we are attracting consumers looking for a great deal and strong value for money on fully guaranteed items.”