Swedish fashion chain KappAhl has underlined its plans to extend its reach into new countries by appointing Hans Jepson as vice president of expansion.

Jepson also becomes a member of KappAhl's management group when he takes up the new position in April, the company said.

"Over the next few years we will be focusing on growth through store expansion and also a fifth market," sais Christian W Jansson, KappAhl's president and CEO.

"Hans Jepson has worked with location issues for many years and has solid experience of the industry. He will be a valuable contribution to KappAhl's expansion plans."

Jepson joins KappAhl from a similar position at rival retailer AB Lindex, where he worked for 16 years.

KappAhl said that one of Jepson's responsibilities will be to implement its goals of expanding by 20-25 new stores annually.

The company, which has 300 stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Poland, lost out on a bid to takeover Lindex in October last year, when Lindex was swallowed up by Finland's Stockmann.