By  on September 29, 2010

One day after J.C. Penney Co. Inc. revealed plans to open new stores, Kohl’s Corp. said it unveiled 21 units in 15 states on Wednesday. Kohl’s said the new stores will add 3,000 jobs in Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The move comes at a time when many retailers are curtailing growth or developing smaller store formats.

Kohl’s on Wednesday also opened a new customer and operations center in San Antonio for its charge card business and, which saw a 38 percent jump in revenues last year. Kohl’s operates two existing customer service and operations centers in Corsicana, Tex., and Menomonee Falls, Wis., where the company is based.

So far this year, Kohl’s has opened 30 stores, bringing the total units to 1,089 in 49 states.

Both Penney’s and Kohl’s are remodeling stores with an emphasis on fashion. Kohl’s is targeting 85 stores for facelifts this year, a 66 percent increase from 2009.

The fourth-largest department store chain in the U.S., Kohl’s sells national and exclusive brands aimed squarely at middle income shoppers, including Levi’s, Nike, Adidas, Simply Vera Vera Wang, LC Lauren Conrad, Elle Contemporary Collection, Dana Buchman, Candie’s and apt. 9. The retailer in June moved to a larger design office at 1400 Broadway in Manhattan with 60,000 square feet compared with the 20,000 square feet of the former office. Kohl’s said the new office would help accelerate its strategy for private and exclusive brands.

In August, Kohl’s reported second-quarter earnings of 84 cents a share, compared with the year-ago period’s 75 cents, yet cut its full-year guidance to $3.57 to $3.70 a share. Penney’s returned to profitability from a year-ago loss, earning 6 cents a share in the second quarter, but reduced its full-year guidance to $1.40 to $1.50.

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