(Ian Ritter is national online editor for GlobeSt.com/RETAIL.)

MENOMONEE FALLS, WI-Kohl’s has ramped up its expansion plans, and executives intend to nearly double the chain’s store count within the next five years. The mass-merchandise retailer, which operates 670 stores in 40 states, is forecast to bring that total up to more than 1,200 by 2010.

“Seeing the changes in the current competitive landscape, we have made adjustments to our expansion plan to take advantage of real estate opportunities that might present themselves,” says Larry Montgomery, Kohl’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “We expect much of this to come together over the next six to nine months.”

This year the company is on schedule to open 95 units. In 2006 and 2007 Kohl’s officials will add a total of 200 stores and enter the Northwest, including the Seattle and Portland, OR markets.

Over the next five years, executives also expect annual sales to more than double, rising from $11.7 billion last year to $24 billion in 2010. Net income, at $703 million last year, is expected to rise to $1.9 billion.

During Kohl’s Q2, which ended July 30, the company posted a year-over-year same-store sales increase of 5.1%, and total sales jumped 15.6%, to $2.9 billion. The retailer has opened 33 units so far this year, entering Buffalo, as well as bolstering its presence in existing markets.

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