Software reseller SoftWide plans to open 40 stores across the UK this year.

Each location will stock approximately 2,000 games, business and educational titles for Macs and PCs. The company hopes to apply further expansion next year, but hasn't announced to what extent yet.

The company was formed in July 2002, opening its first retail outlet on London's King's Road. It now has three shops in the capital, including locations in Camden Town, Croydon and Fulham.

Titles can be browsed using a touch screen, and bought titles are burnt to CD on the premises and boxed with a manual and other paperwork in the store.

The company also operates touch-screen locations inside other stores, such as bookstore Foyles. The technology was originally introduced in WH Smith in 2000, but the arrangement ended, as WH Smith adopted a new company policy on such arrangements.

Software available through the stores includes titles from Epic Interactive, Feral, Eurotalk, Relgold, Guildsoft and Pangea. The company is understood to be in discussion with major-league software developers in order to carry their products, too.

SoftWide is owned by Tribeka, which had previously distributed software under the SoftWide brand name.