Games and entertainment retailer Geek Retreat has said it has faith in the future of the high street as it unveiled plans to open another 100 stores over the next two years.
The retailer, which opened its first store in Glasgow in 2017, said its rapid expansion plan will create around 600 jobs.
The brand currently has 14 sites nationwide, which combine retail space with cafes and areas to play games and hold events.
It said it expects to open its next sites in Bournemouth, Northampton and Liverpool in the coming months.
Chief executive Peter Dobson said: “The UK’s gaming and hobby sector is a real success story and Geek Retreat is a home for the communities who are at the heart of this phenomenon.
“The wellbeing of our customers and staff has always been incredibly important to us – now more than ever everyone should expect a friendly, safe and clean environment to meet and play.”
The company, which currently employs around 110 staff, stocks geek culture merchandise such as comics, posters, clothing, figures and memorabilia as well as games and trading cards.
Mr Dobson added: “We have made sure all of our stores are welcoming and accessible to gamers whatever their interests, providing a place for our loyal customers to get out of the house and play safely post-lockdown.
“This is particularly important for our more vulnerable customers, like those on the autistic spectrum, or with mental health issues where being in an inclusive, welcoming, and social environment is very important.
“It is strength of the relationships which our stores build with local communities that is a key driver of growth.”
Geek Retreat said it has continued to grow and open new sites despite the pandemic, recently launching stores in Northwich and Chelmsford.
It comes as new data from MBH Corporation reveals that one in five small businesses still expect to make a profit this year despite the impact of Covid-19.