99p Stores has announced plans to open 30 Family Bargain stores next year and to take aim at the mults with an expanded food range.

Speaking exclusively to the Grocer, buying director Faisal Lalani said the multi-price format gave the company more flexibility to sell bigger-ticket items.

The approach has already paid off. Nescafé granules, priced at £2.25 compared with about £4 in the mults, is its bestseller while the most expensive item is a £150 double memory foam mattress.

This week the business opened its largest-ever store in Luton at a former M&S site.  The 20,000 sq ft Family Bargains is the first of a new Home Stores format that offers an extended range of furniture and furnishings. The company plans to open 30 more Home Stores next year of 15,000 to 25,000 sq ft. "We're taking large prime pitches in major town centres. We're moving into prime locations because we can trade successfully there," said Lalani.

Family Bargains will expand its fresh food offering to a multi-tiered price offering rather than the current 99p range when it hits 15 openings. The company also plans to install freezers at the end of 2011. "If the freezers go well I'll think about putting some into 99p Stores too," added Lalani.