The chain has completed its 2008 expansion plan of 35 newstores, and will open 17 new stores next year, down from anoriginal 20, largely because of project delays on the developers'end. Future growth in 2009 and 2010 will come in areas where Penneyis underrepresented and with developers who are well financed, saidMyron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and CEO.

"We're not trying to lead out of the downturn by taking a lot ofrisk with projects that are not fully developed," Ullman said.

The company also plans to open 64 more in-store Sephoraboutiques this year.

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