UNION, NJ-Bed Bath & Beyond has the potential to nearly double its domestic store count to 1,300 units said Leonard Feinstein, the retailer’s co-chairman during its fourth-quarter conference call. “The ongoing restructuring of the home-goods sector presents Bed Bath & Beyond with exciting opportunities for continued success, and we fully intend to exploit them,” he says.

Last year the company opened 83 units, including 14 in the fourth quarter, and brought its total to 746 stores. An additional 80 location are planned for this year. Management is also looking at slowly expanding its other two chains, the 29-unit Christmas Tree Shops and cosmetic chain Harmon Stores, which has 38 locations. The company is also considering international expansion, Feinstein says.

The company turned in a strong fourth quarter, with same-store sales coming in at 6.3% year over year. Net sales for the quarter, which ended Feb. 25, were nearly $1.7 billion, up 14.8%, and earnings totaled $197.9 million, rising 13.6%.

Same-store sales for all of last year were up by 4.6%, topping a 4.5% jump the year before. Net sales rose 12.9% and were just over $5.8 billion, while net earnings totaled $572.8 million, increasing 16.4%.

After its Q4 report Wachovia Securities reiterated its outperform rating on the company. “We view Bed Bath & Beyond as the premier operator in the home décor sector and one of the best retailers in the US,” the firm’s retail analysts say in a report.

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