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Kohl's chases market share

New York — The course for Kohl's remains steady, executives told analysts at the Robertson Stephens conference here. "Taking market share is what Kohl's is all about," said Patricia Johnson, who was recently promoted to evp and cfo.

The company is committed to drive top line and bottom line growth, she added. Over the past five years, Kohl's has had a compounded annual growth rate of 26.7 percent, and comp store sales have ranged from 7.9 percent to 11.3 percent.

"We've exceeded our top-line objective, and we've exceeded our comp store sales objective as well," she added.

In the face of a weakening economy, the company plans to continue growing its square footage 18 percent to 20 percent every year, according to coo Arlene Meier.

"We are not slowing our expansion plans in any way," she added.

Kohl's had 320 stores at the end of last year, and has or will have 62 additional stores this year, with plans to open 70 new stores next year. "There's opportunity to continue our expansion program in every region of the country," Meier said. "It's important to have a blend of fill-ins in existing markets and enter new markets."

The company is driving traffic into the store with inserts, Kohl's credit cards and the recent expansion of the Get It! program, which highlights seasonal key items. The program, which was 9 percent last year, has already grown to 13 percent.

The Table and Tower program holiday presentation, launched two years ago, will be expanded on this year. "It is a great presentation that also has sharp price points," Meier said.

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