Department store chain Mervyns said Tuesday it would open five new stores and launch an e-commerce Web site while selling off five to 10 underperforming locations.

The new stores will roll out in 2009 in the firm’s core markets of California and the Southwest.

Mervyns said the sale of the underperforming doors would generate $25 million to $50 million in cash to fund operations and growth initiatives.

The fully integrated e-commerce Web site will launch during the fourth quarter and presents a new expansion vehicle for the retailer. Management predicts the online platform could quickly grow into a $50 million business.

The reshuffling of capital marks the influence of chief executive officer John Goodman, who joined Mervyns in April from Levi Strauss & Co.

Goodman also is focusing on providing products and services for key niche markets, specifically Hispanic customers.

Based in Hayward, Calif., Mervyns currently has 177 stores across seven states.

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