BRIGHTHOUSE, the UK’s largest rent-to-own retailer, is to press on with expansion plans – despite the gloom afflicting other parts of the high street.

The Watford-based group, which has a store at New Street in Huddersfield and 228 outlets UK-wide, will open another 30 this year as part of a long-term aim for a chain of 650 outlets across the UK.

Sales in the year to March rose by 15.4% to £227.7m with like-for-like sales rising by 9.2%.

The firm said that despite the wave of retail firms folding, its business remained “relatively buoyant”.

It said gaps now appearing on the high street following store closures would help its expansion programme, especially if sites become free near to the giant chains which have high footfall.

In recent weeks, Jane Norman, TJ Hughes and parts of Habitat group have gone into administration, while Thorntons, Carpetright and Mothercare have all announced widespread store closures.

Brighthouse has also benefited from the economic downturn because it extends credit to 200,000 customers, many of whom are cannot get credit elsewhere.