Despite a difficult economic environment, department store operator Kohl's plans to open 47 new stores this autumn, the majority of which have been build to environmentally standards.

The Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin retailer says that by the end of November it will operate 1,004 stores in 48 states.

Of the 47 new stores opening in the next two months, 45 stores are built according to a design that is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) pre-certified at the Silver level from the US Green Building Council.

The roll-out means the retailer will have opened a total of 75 stores in 2008 and it intends to continue its expansion next year too.

In 2009, Kohl's plans to open 50 new stores and remodel 60 locations, an increase from 36 remodelled stores in 2008.

In the longer-term, the company has identified 1,400 trade areas where it sees potential for Kohl's stores, but has not announced a timeline for future openings beyond 2009.