Irish convenience store chain Centra has plans to open 20 new stores across the country over the next 12 months with a €20m investment.

The retailer also expects that its expansion will create jobs for nearly 460 people.

Centra currently has 11,000 people working across its 450 stores in Ireland. Of the 450 stores, 100 are expected to be refurbished this year.

"€10m has been invested in providing a new in-store experience to customers."

Despite its announcement, the total number of new stores may be lower as the retailer previously announced its plans to open 16 new stores last year, but only opened eight.

Centra managing director Martin Kelleher was quoted by as saying that €10m has been invested in providing a new in-store experience to customers.

The retailer plans to launch new healthier bakery products and a gourmet deli in the future.

Using a franchise model, the firm plans to expand its footprint across its three formats, namely standard-convenience, high-convenience and neighbourhood outlets.

Most of the new openings will fall under the standard-convenience format, whereas high-convenience and neighbourhood stores are its small city outlets.

The chain’s sales grew by 3% to €1.59bn last year.