Kohl’s CEO Is Bullish On Brick And Mortar


Even as Kohl’s Corp. downsizes its stores, its president and CEO Kevin Mansell says brick-and-mortar locations are key to its success, CNBC reported Tuesday (Jan. 9).

“Physical presence is important in people’s mindset as they think about where to shop,” Mansell said. “Regardless of whether they shop in the store or online, if you have a physical presence, you’re top of mind. So having a physical presence is critical.”

He added Kohl’s is focused on convenient locations that consumers can easily access.

“We’re not in malls,” Mansell said. “Ninety-five percent of our stores are off-mall, and they’re mostly single-level, free-standing, easy to get in, easy to get out.”

Mansell’s comments come as the apparel, accessories and home goods retailer is seeking to lease unused footage at its roughly 300 downsized stores. Last year, he noted “stores will continue to get smaller over time.” Typically, a Kohl’s store is 100,000 square feet, but new locations were closer to 70,000 square feet as of 2017.

Kohl’s has already entered into a partnership with Amazon, allowing shoppers to purchase some of the eCommerce giant’s products directly from Kohl’s locations. The Amazon-designated space inside the brick-and-mortar stores is called the “smart home experience.”

At 1,000 square feet, Amazon’s zones offer products such as the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV and Fire tablets. Customers will also be able to schedule an Amazon expert to come to their homes and install smart home devices, and Kohl’s said at the time of the zones’ launch that it would promote Amazon Home Services.

While Mansell wouldn’t tell CNBC whether the Amazon partnership would result in the eCommerce titan’s eventual acquisition of Kohl’s, he did say the company is open to exploring the concept.

“We’re focused on any ideas, however far-out they may seem to somebody outside our business, that would essentially drive more people into our stores,” Mansell said.