Department store operator Kohl's is looking to open 500 US stores over the next five years, as part of a strategic growth plan.

The company has drawn up a five-year plan from 2008 to 2012, aiming for a national presence of 1,400 stores.

At the same time, the company has announced the opening of 95 new stores and 14,000 newly created jobs over the next two months.

Kohl's opened 80 stores today (3 October), which will be followed by an additional 15 store openings in mid-November. Based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Kohl's currently operates around 929 stores in 47 states in the US.

"For the past two years, we have exceeded our financial objectives and believe we are well positioned to deliver on our long-term strategic growth plan," said Larry Montgomery, Kohl's chairman and CEO.

"We remain focused on merchandising, inventory management, marketing and the in-store shopping experience as well as our expansion plan."
As a result of the plan, Kohl's hopes that same-store sales will grow 2% to 4% annually and earnings per share will grow 15% to 17% on a CAGR basis from US$3.31 in 2006 through 2012.