The Wilkinson family have drawn up an audacious plan to open 200 new stores by 2012 - tripling sales at their eponymous variety chain and transforming the business into the UK's largest private retailer.

Stuart Mitchell, the former Sainsbury's boss who was appointed chief executive in 2006, revealed the ambitious plans in accounts filed at Companies House last month.


'This is a challenging target and to achieve it we will need to invest substantially,' he said.

The unveiling of the expansion plans may renew speculation about whether the Wilkinson family could - in the long term - float, or even sell, a stake in the business.

Sunday Telegraph