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UNION, NJ-Bed Bath & Beyond will continue pursue major expansion of its newer concepts and its namesake stores in Canada, executives said at the company’s second quarter conference call.

Long-term plans to open 400 additional Bed Bath & Beyond units across the United States are actually a slowing of that chain’s growth, as the company accelerates its expansion in Canada, where it currently has two stores. Twelve more locations are under negotiation and more sites are being scouted, for a corporate goal “to become the leading home furnishings chain in Canada,” said Warren Eisenberg, co-chairman.

For 2008, the company will open 50 new Bed Bath & Beyond stores, as well as 12 Christmas Tree Shops, “several” buybuy BABY stores, and freestanding and in-store Harmon and Harmon Face units.

“While the number of store openings in these newer concepts are expected to grow significantly, we are moderating the number of Bed Bath & Beyond openings,” Eisenberg said. “In doing so, we remain flexible to take advantage of additional real estate opportunities, if we so choose, due to the ongoing consolidation in our industry.”

Net sales for the fiscal second quarter of 2008 were approximately $1.854 billion, up 4.9% from the same period last year. Comparable store sales declined approximately 0.1%. Net earnings were $119.3 million, down from earnings of $147.0 million last year.

As of August 30, Bed Bath & Beyond had 994 stores, including 903 Bed Bath & Beyond stores (in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada), 41 Christmas Tree Shops stores, 10 buybuy BABY stores, and 40 stores under the names of Harmon or Harmon Face Values. Through a joint venture, the company operates two Home & More stores in Mexico.

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