Kohl’s plans to increase its store count by more than 67%

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Wisconsin-based department store operator Kohl's Corp. said it plans an ambitious schedule of opening another 566 outlets over the next five years, increasing its store count by more than 67%.

The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based department store operator will start with a grand opening of 80 new stores on Wednesday, to be followed by an additional 15 in mid-November, the sum of which will create 14,000 new jobs, it said. The remaining stores will open between 2008 and 2012, the company said in a press release. The company currently operates 834 stores.

"For the past two years, we have exceeded our financial objectives and believe we are well positioned to deliver on our long-term strategic growth plan," said chairman and CEO Larry Montgomery. The company is expecting same-store sales to rise 2-4% each year over the five-year period, with total sales growth at 9-11% on a compounded annual rate. EPS are forecast to rise 15-17% on that basis from 2006's level of $3.31.

Kohl's recently started selling a high-end clothing and home goods line by Vera Wang as well as Food Network-branded kitchen items. The retailer's same-store sales dropped 0.6% for August and were flat in July, missing analyst expectations for both months.

The company plans to boost its women's and men's clothing offerings and adjust its marketing campaign.

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