Department store operator Kohl's Corporation and fellow US retailer Forever 21 have won a joint bid at auction for leaseholds to 46 retail sites run by bankrupt chain Mervyns.

Together the retailers paid approximately $6.25m for the sites, with Kohl's to assume 31 of the locations and Forever 21 to take 15.

"We are pleased with the results of the auction," said Kevin Mansell, president and CEO for Kohl's Department Stores.

"With over 1,000 stores from coast to coast, these locations provide increased presence in under penetrated markets.

"We will continue to be opportunistic and prudent in our discussions with the owners of select Mervyns real estate as we continue to position Kohl's to grow market share."

In fiscal 2009, Kohl's expects to open approximately 50 stores, including the majority of the 31 former Mervyns' locations.