Poundland, the discount retailer, will open at least 35 new stores in 2009, creating 1,200 jobs, as it looks to profit from the economic downturn.

Once the stores open the company’s portfolio will be extended to around 240 shops, after it opened 40 new sites this year.

Chief executive Jim McCarthy said: “Times are tough and customers know Poundland offers quality brands at the incredible £1 price point on all products every day.

“We are convinced that Poundland will continue to help shoppers through the tough times in even more locations next year.”

This year the discount firm revealed annual profits until the end of March were up by 122%.

McCarthy said at the time: “Poundland’s unique single price strategy is providing even greater value. We are perfectly positioned to take advantage of customers’ flight to value.”

By contrast, Woolworths will shed 27,000 jobs after its administrators Deloitte failed to find a buyer for the company.