Italian fashion firm Benetton Group is to expand its operations in Colombia after signing a deal to open seven corners in South American department store chain Falabella.

The corners - four for women, two for men and one for children - will join Benetton's eight other stores in Colombia, and additional openings are planned for spring/summer 2010.

Benetton also operates similar agreements in Chile and Peru.

The latest agreement was signed by Alessandro Benetton, executive vice chairman of the Benetton Group, during a business trip to Latin America where he also met with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

Benetton has operated in the region for over 20 years, including 18 United Colors of Benetton stores and about 120 corners in Sears department stores in Mexico.

Aggressive expansion in this country is expected to see its points of sale rise to a total of 215 by the end of 2011.