UK software retailer Softwide is preparing to ramp-up its business this year.

The company has hired staff to help locate and launch its the 40 retail outlets that form the next stage of its expansion plans. Each location will stock approximately 2,000 games, and business and educational titles for Macs and PCs.

The company has also signed new software publishers – including Pinnacle, Corel and the BBC – who have agreed to let Softwide distribute their goods.

Softwide was formed in July 2002, opening its first retail outlet on London's King's Road. It now has three shops in the capital, with another in Dublin.

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.