In a trend that started long before the pandemic, department stores are in decline—but Kohl's doesn't want you to think of it as a department store. The chain is working on overhauling its brand with moves including the opening of around 100 stores less than half the size of its normal outlets and adding Sephora mini-stores to around three-quarter of its 1,100 US stores, CNN reports.
"We're evolving our position from a department store to a more focused lifestyle concept centered around the active and casual lifestyle," CEO Michelle Gass said Monday. The company is shifting from traditional business wear to activewear—another trend accelerated by the pandemic—and it plans to add more fitness products.
The chain also intends to expand its online presence. "Make no mistake, this is a transformation," Gass said. "It is a complete reinvention of our business model and our brand."
The CEO said the new Kohl's outlets will be around 35,000 square feet on average, and one of the first will open in the Seattle area, the New York Daily News reports. Existing Kohl's outlets are around 85,000 square feet.
The chain, which has been losing market shares to competitors including Amazon and TJ Maxx, has been targeted by corporate raiders and rejected two separate takeover bids earlier this year, reports Reuters.