Costcutter has upped its target for new Kwiksave stores following “buoyant” retailer recruitment.

It currently has five stores operating under the fascia, having opened its first in May, and plans to open a sixth next month. “The target was to have 12 stores by the end of the year,” said Bibby Line Group MD Sir Michael Bibby. “However the new format store is proving so popular we are on course to open 20 by Christmas.”

The new target was announced as Costcutter posted a 4% rise in half-year sales and reported continued strong retailer recruitment.

Although it had lost holiday park retailer J&J Wilson, it added 112 new accounts between January and July and had a further 41 pending, it said. Supply deals with several large groups were also due to commence and a series of smaller acquisition targets had been identified to boost its company-owned store portfolio.

“Retailer recruitment is buoyant,” said CEO Nick Ivel. “We are seeing more and more independent retailers joining a symbol group for the first time and our recruitment of retailers from our rivals is also increasing.”