Leading Spanish fashion retailer Cortefiel on Monday announced details of an ambitious expansion plan that will see it invest around 60 million euros ($52.3m) in 135 new stores during 2002.

Most of the new outlets will be located outside of Spain as the firm looks to build on its existing current international base of 237 stores said Alain Moureaux, its director of international expansion.

He said the fashion giant, which also operates 500 stores in Spain and owns the brands Springfield, Women' Secret, Milano, Pedro del Hierro, Douglas and Don Algodon, plans to maintain its rapid expansion by opening around 130 new stores a year.

According to Mr Moureaux, Cortefiel plans to concentrate on expanding its menswear chain Springfield and underwear brand Women's Secret.