Hardware retailer Screwfix is planning to open up to 40 new stores creating 400 jobs.

The new roles will be in a variety of areas, including service assistants, supervisors and retail management.

The news comes as the firm officially opens its first shops in Ireland, located in Sandyford and Swords in Dublin, and also Waterford.

A fourth store will open in Ennis, Co Clare early next year.

The company, which is part of the Kingfisher Plc group, already has a successful online and phone-based retail presence in Ireland.

It also has more than 1,300 shops in nine countries around the world, including in Russia, Turkey and the UK where it has 650 outlets.

Chief Executive John Mewett said the opening of stores in Ireland represents a major milestone for the company.

He said it was the result of the increasing demand for DIY and hardware products, driven by a buoyant period in construction.

"We're excited about the times ahead and look forward to welcoming customers to our new stores," he said.

The Irish stores will stock more than 10,000 products and will be open every day.

Screwfix is not providing a specific timeline for the rollout of the shops.