In what is seen as a major coup for a department store operator, Kohl’s is gearing up to begin selling Apple Watches at 400 of its 1,100 stores.
According to a report by Fortune, the Apple Watches will start appearing on store shelves on Nov. 15 . Kohl’s is hoping with this new partnership it will increase traffic in its store and hopefully lure more affluent shoppers to its department stores. As Fortune noted, a few weeks ago, Macy’s announced it would sell the Apple Watch in boutiques within 180 of its stores. Macy’s is housing the Apple Watch near the watch area but also where it sells other tech gadgets, like iPhones and laptops, reported Fortune. Kohl’s is taking a different approach, planning on housing the watches in its activewear and wellness sections, noted the report.
“We’re not launching it as an electronics partner,” Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief merchandising and customer officer, told Fortune in an interview at the retailer’s design center in New York City. “We were positioning this as an active and wellness device.”
Kohl’s isn’t the only potential winner in this new partnership. Fortune noted it’s a win for Apple, too, because it gets to increase its distribution points outside of cities where Apple Stores are typically located. It will also be able to target less affluent shoppers with its Kohl’s deal, noted the report.
While its up for debate how the Apple Watch will fare this holiday season, one thing is for sure: Apple has been making more inroads with the Watch 2. At the end of September, Aetna announced it is subsidizing Apple Watches for selected employers and individual customers as this health care enrollment season heats up. The Hartford-headquartered company said the new initiative is to “revolutionize members’ consumer health experience.” The company is also offering a free watch to its 50,000 workers. This will be the first major health care company to shoulder a portion of the cost of the watch, which starts around $300.