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MENOMONEE FALLS, WI-While lowering the number of new store openings from last year, Kohl’s Corp. plans to take advantage of consolidation where possible, executives said at the company’s fourth quarter conference call.

In fiscal 2009, the Company expects to open approximately 55 stores (including its first store in Alaska), down from 75 openings last year. However, the company had originally planned to open just 50 units, with the increase coming from the availability of more Mervyn’s locations.

“Many of these sites are irreplaceable, as they are in densely populated sites, with no ground-up alternatives,” said Larry Montgomery, chairman.

The company expects additional consolidations and failures and is prepared to obtain additional locations where sensible.

“We should benefit from increased sales, and we have enough flexibility in our real estate to take advantage of opportunities that arise from bankruptcies and liquidations,” Montgomery added.

For the quarter, net income was $336 million, compared with $412 million the year before. Net sales were $5.2 billion, down 4.6% for the same quarter the prior year. Comparable store sales decreased 9.1%.

For the year, net income was $885 million, compared to $1,084 million the previous year. Net sales were $16.4 billion, down 0.5% from the previous year. Comparable store sales decreased 6.9%.

Kohl’s operates 1,004 stores in 48 states.

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