7-Eleven has announced that it will embark on "an aggressive growth plan" in southern California.

The expansion will include the opening of more than 100 new stores, 50 of which are expected to open this year. 

The programme will span seven counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara.

The investment is expected to total US$50m this year and will likely total more than $60m in fiscal 2010.

7-Eleven currently operates 800 stores in the southern Californian market.

"We are committed to investing in southern California through new store development, remodeling existing locations and creating more franchise and other business opportunities," said Dan Porter, 7-Eleven vice president of real estate and new store development.

The company said that it has hired CB Richard Ellis Group, to serve as its exclusive brokerage firm in Southern California, focused on assisting 7-Eleven in expanding its market share.  

 "7-Eleven wants to quickly identify new locations and take advantage of opportunities throughout the region.  CB Richard Ellis' extensive network and broker contacts will be important to our success as we enter a period of rapid, new-store expansion," Porter added.