A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts, the Berlin-based 136-store national retailer, is scaling back its construction plans based on the tough retail climate.

It will open fewer stores, close more stores and forgo the construction of a second distribution center, instead focusing on the expansion of its Berlin property.

Instead of opening 14 stores, as previously announced, it will open between 8 to 12 this year, picking locations where there is enough density to provide efficiencies in advertising and distribution.

The company plans to close seven to 10 stores, a large number compared to previous years. It closed two in 2007 and one in 2006.

A.C. Moore expects the store closings to cost $7 million to $9 million, including $4 million to $5 million related to leases and $1 million to $2 million for severance and liquidation costs.

The current real estate market may also provide some opportunity, the company said, as it looks to relocate stores to more advantageous locations.