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BURLINGTON, NJ-Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. will roll out 20 new stores in fiscal 2007 as the retailer moves forward with expansion plans following its recent $2.1 billion acquisition by Bain Capital Partners of Boston.

The company, which currently operates 365 stores under the Burlington Coat Factory, Baby Depot, Cohoes and MJM Designer Shoe brands, said it will spend between $1.5 million and $2 million each to open the new retail outlets, all of which will bear the Burlington Coat Factory name.

The retail chain, which added nine new Burlington and three MJM Designer Shoe stores to its lineup in fiscal 2006, said it also is scouting for additional locations and has lined up eight potential sites for future expansion.

“There’s lots of opportunities,” Mark A. Nesci, chief operating officer, said in a conference call with investors and analysts, adding that the company is beefing up its real estate division “to make sure the pipeline stays fluid.”

As part of that expansion strategy, the locally based firm also plans to close all seven of its Cohoes stores and reopen four of them under the Burlington Coat Factory flag, he said. Several other Burlington stores will be relocated, but no other closings are presently planned, he noted.

News of the expansion comes just six months after Bain Capital Partners, a global private investment firm, completed its $2.1-billion acquisition to take the company private.

During fiscal 2006, Burlington reported that net sales grew by $267.6 million, rising to $3.4 billion for the year, compared with net sales of $3.2 billion for fiscal 2005. Comparative store sales were up 4.3% overall, with sales at Burlington Coat Factory rising 4.2%. MJM sales were up 6.8%, and Cohoes sales grew 0.2% during the year, company officials said. Net income for the year dropped $37.9% to $67.2 million from $105 million in the prior year, due largely to expenses related to the acquisition, the company said.

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