Irish department store chain Dunnes Stores is reportedly in talks to acquire up to 40 stores in the UK as part of a review of its property portfolio.
The retailer currently has 34 stores in the UK, with 23 in Northern Ireland, six in England and five in Scotland. It has 116 in the Republic of Ireland and five in Spain.
Its UK business, which employs 3,151 people, made sales of £24.5m and a profit of £966,000 in the full year to February 1, 2014.
Dunnes hit the headlines in April when almost 6,000 workers at the chain’s stores in the Republic of Ireland held a one-day strike in a dispute over pay and contracts.
It declined to comment on the UK expansion plans.