Italian fashion giant Benetton is set to open 40 new stores in Spain this year as part of the company's international expansion programme, according to local press reports.

The new stores will be concentrated in the north of the country, the reports said, including the regions of Galicia, Cantabria, Asturias and the Basque Country.

Benetton has already opened a new 180 square metre store through local franchise partner F Franchising in the town of Lugo in Galicia.

The programme of new openings represents an acceleration of the company's expansion in Spain, adding to the 32 outlets opened in 2007. Benetton has more than 350 retail outlets in Spain, some 300 of them franchises.

Benetton failed to reply to just-style's requests for further comment on the reports.