Technology and entertainment retailer Virgin Media has announced an aggressive roll-out of its store format in an attempt to significantly increase its high street presence and to capitalise on lower rents and landlord incentives.

Virgin Media operates from 27 stores but plans to increase its portfolio by up to 50 further stores within a year as part of a three-year expansion plan, which includes the construction of kiosks that will sell the same range of broadband, television and mobile phone packages as Virgin’s shops.

Like Apple stores, Virgin Media stores are interactive and allow customers to try out its product ranges. Its new stores will add to locations such as Birmingham, Plymouth, Bromley, Leeds and Leicester – where it has already trialled the format. The company is also looking at concessions and stands in major shopping centres.

Virgin Media chief executive Neil Berkett said that the group was aiming to reach more customers by opening more stores and to drive further growth during the weak retail property market.