Kohl's opens small format stores in wake of retail closures

After closing 19 stores last year, Kohl's has announced plans to open four more small format stores and add a fifth ecommerce fulfillment center in an effort to find relevance in the modern changing retail landscape.

The four new smaller stores will open in LA in Montebello, East Windsor, NJ, North Smithfield, RI and in Blue Ash, Ohio. The goals are to improve operations and offer customers a more efficient shopping experience.

The four small format stores will each occupy a 35,000-square-foot space. They follow the success of eight smaller stores the brand experimented with in 2016. Instead of previously large footprints upwards of 90,000 square feet, the downsized stores offer a more targeted intimate shopping experience.

Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, chief executive officer and president called the downsizing "rightsizing."

Mansell said that Kohl's will continue opening small format stores that "optimiz[e] our selling space" and make sure that "shopping in our stores is an engaging and inspiring experience for our customers."

Additionally Kohl's will shrink down two large stores in Georgia and Arkansas from approximately 90,000 square feet down to 60,000 square feet. These "optimizations" follow a relocation of the Kohl's Charlotte, NC store from 80,000 square feet to 55,000 square feet.

In Spring of 2018, Kohl's also is planning to take a two story Wisconsin store down to one story and reduce its footprint by 30,000 square feet.

In addition to retail developments, Kohl's is adding a 900,000 square foot ecommerce fulfillment center to its operations in Indiana. This is the fifth ecommerce fulfillment center. It joins locations in San Bernardino, CA, Ohio, Maryland and Texas.

The small format stores are slated to open October, 2017. Kohl's will begin shipping from the new ecommerce fulfillment center this month.

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