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NAPLES, FL—Canadian teenagers will soon be as hip as their US counterparts, as Aeropostale opens its first stores there this year, executives said at the 2007 Deutsche Bank Small Cap Conference, held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here.

Plans call for between 80 stores and 100 stores in Canada, said Thomas P. Johnson, EVP and COO of the New York City-based retailer. “We’re very proud and excited to be entering the Canadian market,” Johnson said. “We see it as a big opportunity for us.”

Expansion also will continue in the US. The company currently has 728 units, and the chain expects up to 1,000 stores nationwide. California, Texas and Florida still have a great deal of growth potential, Johnson said.

All new stores and remodels from the second quarter on will be in the chain’s new, sleeker format prototype reflecting its more fashion-forward merchandise orientation. Two stores, at Woodfield Mall outside Chicago and Coconut Point in Estero, FL, the latter opening this week, have the new format.

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