Discount retailer 99p Stores has unveiled plans to open 80 new stores this year, creating 2,500 jobs and increasing its estate to more than 200 stores.

The chain announced its plans as it opened its first store in 2010 this week its 127th overall in a former Woolworths in Peckham.

Commercial director and co-founder Hussein Lalani said the new store would be its flagship south London store, with more than 4,000 lines, 60% of which would be household brands. "The public has been hypnotised with our value 99p products," he said. "Once it dawns on them they have been paying two and three-fold over the odds for essentials like branded toothpaste and washing-up liquid, they become loyal customers."

The 80-store target for 2010 follows the opening of 61 new stores last year, 56 of which were former Woolworths sites.

"We are doing what Woolworths failed to do in its latter years giving great value products," said Lalani. "Woolworths started out as a six-pence shop with everything at one price. We are the 21st century version. We feel proud to take on the mantle and consider ourselves custodians of the Woolworths brand. When Woolworths was set up it connected with the British public and we believe we are now doing this," he added.