Kohl’s to share space with grocery store partner(s)
Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell says the retailer has “identified a whole list of partners” from the convenience and grocery channels that it believes would be a good fit to fill space left in about 300 stores it has “right-sized” over the past several years.
In an interview with CNBC at the ICR conference this week, Mr. Mansell said his company had found the footprint it needs to operate most effectively, which has opened up space within many of its big box locations. Kohl’s is looking to lease the remaining space within these stores to partners with businesses that will drive more frequent traffic to the locations. In essence, Kohl’s is looking for partners that would turn its physical locations into supercenters, of a sort.
Kohl’s, which has come off a strong holiday season in which it posted a 6.9 percent gain in same-store sales, is looking to push its advantage while many of its rivals lag behind. The company’s test of accepting returns for items purchased on Amazon.com in 82 of its locations in Chicago and Los Angeles as well as opening Amazon shops within 10 stores in the same markets has led to speculation it might seek to partner with Whole Foods.
In May, Mr. Mansell will step down as CEO of Kohl’s, a position he has held for a decade. He will be replaced by Michelle Gass, the chain’s chief customer and merchandising officer. Ms. Gass joined Kohl’s in 2013 after more than 16 years at Starbucks in a variety of executive roles including president of the coffee giant’s business in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
- Kohl’s to partner with grocers or convenience stores to fill vacant store space – CNBC
- Kohl’s is on a roll coming off the holidays – RetailWire
- Michelle Gass Could Show Department Stores the Way: Gadfly – Bloomberg/The Washington Post
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Kohl’s is on the right path with its plan to lease space within its stores to grocery and/or convenience store partners? What do you see as the challenges with such an arrangement? Are there companies that you think would make ideal partners for Kohl’s?