Kohl's leans into its store base, announcing 4 more small-format locations

Kohl's store front
Kohl's will continue to open smaller-format stores to support its online initiatives.

Kohl's announced it will open four small-format stores and invest in its fifth e-commerce fulfillment center during the third quarter. The company is strategically investing in finding the right size brick-and-mortar for each location, while pushing its omnichannel initiative online.

“Our stores remain at the core of our omnichannel strategy and we will continue to invest in them by opening smaller formats, rightsizing and optimizing our selling space and working to ensure that shopping in our stores is an engaging and inspiring experience for our customers,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, CEO and president. “We have set a goal to be the best-in-class omnichannel retailer and opening our fifth e-commerce distribution center will support the delivery of online orders faster and more efficiently to customers nationwide.”

In other words, Kohl's' more than 1,100 physical locations in 49 states are not going away.

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In fact, the chain will add four new small-format stores in October to add to the eight small-format locations opened in 2016. The new locations will be in North Smithfield, Rhode Island; Blue Ash, Ohio; East Windsor, New Jersey; and Montebello, California.

Smaller formats are outfitted with fixtures that can be adapted by department for localized merchandise. Also, in-store kiosks let consumer browse a selection of online merchandise options and can have them shipped to their home for free. And like all other stores, these locations serve as pick-up locations for BOPIS orders. 

The chain's fifth e-commerce center will begin fulfillment this month out of Plainfield, Indiana. The 937,000 square foot facility will process, fulfill and ship orders from the website. Kohl's also uses stores nationwide as fulfillment and shipping locations for online orders. 

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By the end of 2017, almost half of Kohl's stores will be operationally smaller. 

The idea is that "rightsizing" stores, based on customer and inventory needs, allows Kohl's to operate more efficiently and provide a better experience.