TJ Morris, the company behind discount chain Home Bargains, is planning to open a further 30 stores in the next six months.

The discounter, which has 190 stores, has opened 30 since January after picking up around 20 former Woolworths sites and will add a similar number by the end of the year.

Some 1,000 jobs had been created with a further 1,000 expected as new stores opened, operations director Joe Morris said.

"There is a lot of empty property on the high street," Morris said. "We are keen to take on good stores in good locations and really push our store numbers."

TJ Morris's expansion plans were made possible by the ongoing £35m extension of its distribution centre in Gillmoss, Liverpool. Work will end in November, giving the chain the capacity to serve 350 stores. Home Bargains has now reached Scotland and South Wales, with its most southerly store in Milton Keynes.

"We're not going to be opening stores in Cornwall or the Scottish Highlands, but we can comfortably go to Glasgow, Edinburgh, down to the M4 and everywhere in between," said Morris, adding that trading had never been better and that he was very pleased with year-end figures due next month.

"Customers are being more careful with spending and everyone is having a go at the discount thing, but this just means we have to be better. More customers are coming into our shops, but we can't be complacent as they will simply go to where they think is best."

TJ Morris does not advertise its products or store openings, but was attracting a legion of fans through internet sites, blogs and reviews, Morris claimed.