Retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has stated that over the course of the next three years it will be creating 10,000 new jobs.
Announcing its preliminary results for the 2006-07 period, the firm said that it had opened 63 Simply Food stores last year and planned to open a further 100 new shops in 2007-08.
Stuart Rose, chief executive of M&S, said: "We are also starting to broaden the business, by stretching the brand into new product areas, expanding space, driving our direct business and growing our brand internationally."
This programme of expansion is set to create as many as 10,000 new jobs in the UK over the coming years, he added.
In related news, M&S has announced that in partnership with two if its suppliers it is to develop two new "eco-factories" in Wales to manufacture upholstery using innovative and sustainable production techniques.