From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Kohls)
Jump to: navigation, search
Type Public
Traded as NYSEKSS
S&P 500 Component
Industry Retail
Founded 1962
Headquarters Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, and housewares.
Revenue Decrease $19.031 billion (FY 2013)[1]
Operating income Decrease $1.742 billion (FY 2013)[1]
Net income Decrease $889 million (FY 2013)[1]
Total assets Increase $14.378 billion (FY 2013) [1]
Total equity Decrease $5.978 billion (FY 2013)[1]
Employees 40,508
Website www.kohls.com

Kohl's Corporation is an American department store chain headquartered in the Milwaukee suburb of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, operating 1,158 stores in 49 states. Kohl's is America's largest department store chain by the number of stores as of February 2013 surpassing JCPenney.[2] In 1998, it entered the S&P 500 list, and is also listed in the Fortune 500 (#146 in 2012).[3] The chain was the 20th-largest retailer in the United States in 2013 in terms of revenue.[4] As of 2012, Kohl's is the second largest U.S. department store company by retail sales.[5]



Maxwell Kohl, who had operated traditional grocery stores, built his first supermarket in 1946, the first in what would become a southeastern Wisconsin chain known as Kohl's Food Stores.[6] In 1962, he started his first department store, Kohl's Department Store, in Brookfield, Wisconsin. He positioned Kohl's between the higher-end department stores and the discounters, selling everything from candy to engine oil to sporting equipment.

In 1972 the British-American Tobacco Company's US retail division, BATUS Inc., bought a controlling interest in Kohl's Corporation, which at the time operated 50 grocery stores, six department stores, three drug stores and three liquor stores.[7] The Kohl family, led by Allen and Herb Kohl, continued to manage the company. The family left the management in 1979, and Herbert Kohl became a United States Senator and owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. The firm then expanded Kohl's presence from 10 to 39 stores in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. The grocery stores were sold to A&P in 1983, operating under the name Kohl's Food Store, and later Kohl's Food Emporium. In February 2003, A&P put the Kohl's Food Stores up for sale, as part of an effort to reduce debt. In June 2003, A&P announced its plans to close all Kohl's Food Stores and administrative offices. By the end of 2003, all Kohl's Food Stores locations were closed.


A group of investors, including the senior management, purchased the company in 1986, and the company added 27 more stores in the next two years. In 1988, the chain acquired 26 locations from Chicago-based MainStreet, gaining several stores in Chicago's suburbs, Minneapolis-St. Paul and parts of Michigan.[8] In 1992, the company went public and a period of expansion began as the chain spread to:

Kohl's has replaced many former Mervyns stores in the western U.S.

Kohl's design office opened in January 2007, located in the heart of New York's garment district. The 23,000-square-foot (2,100 m2) facility, located at 1359 Broadway, is the company's first product-design facility in the nation's fashion capital.

Existing stores are undergoing renovations to make them more modern and more like up-scale department stores. These re-modeled stores must be of a certain age and profit group in order to qualify for remodeling.

On October 13, 2009, Kohl's announced it was closing its oldest distribution center, located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, in order to more efficiently service its expanding number of stores. The inventory from the Menomonee Falls distribution center was moved to a newer distribution center in Ottawa, Illinois.

In late 2010, Kohl's opened 40 new stores in the 2011 fiscal year.

As of January 2011, Kohl's stores were in every state but Hawaii.

Store design[edit]

The exterior of a typical Kohl's department store in Northeast Columbia, SC.

Although some locations are in enclosed shopping malls, the majority of stores are free-standing.

Kohl’s operates differently from traditional department stores, like Macy's or JCPenney. The most noticeable distinction is that Kohl's stores have centralized check-out aisles much like grocery stores, where a single line is used for check-outs.

Kohl's also uses a "racetrack" aisle that circles the entire store, a technique borrowed from discount stores but rarely used in department stores.[9]

In 2011, Kohl's announced plans to remodel 100 of its 1,100 locations. Changes included redone store sections, fitting rooms, and newer merchandise displays.[10]


Kohl's stores feature nationally recognized brand-name merchandise, exclusive labels, and private-branded goods, virtually the same merchandise mix as traditional department stores.[citation needed] The stores sell a variety of goods, such as apparel, shoes, and accessories for women, children and men, and home products such as small electronics, kitchen electrics, electric shavers, toothbrushes, vacuum cleaners & floor care, bedding, toys, and luggage.

Online shopping[edit]

The company has had an internet presence since 1998[11] and has offered online shopping since 2000. The domain kohls.com attracted at least 58 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com survey.[12]

A virtual store on Stardoll has launched with the brands Candie's, Abbey Dawn and Mudd Jeans. Hang Ten was added to the store in 2010.[citation needed]

Environmental and labor record[edit]

In 2009, Newsweek magazine cited Kohl's in its "Green Rankings" [13] which examine 500 of the largest corporations on their environmental track record. Kohl's was ranked 18th out of 500 overall, and was ranked first in its industry. Newsweek remarked that Kohl's has the largest solar power program of any retailer globally, it pursues green building certification and over 78 locations in six states have solar panels. In addition, in 2008, Kohl's started to sell reusable shopping bags.[14]

After the 2013 Savar building collapse, Kohl's became a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.

2010 Sustainability Report[edit]

In 2010, Kohl's published a Sustainability Report detailing its mission, sustainability strategies, and plans for the future.[15] Kohl's actively pursues five areas related to sustainability including energy efficiency, building design, emission reduction, recycling/minimizing waste, and stakeholder engagement. The following are the highlights from each area for 2010.

  • Kohl's had 590 Energy Star labeled stores and 100 solar powered locations. The company also purchased enough green power to offset 100% of its energy use.
  • 72 stores and one office building achieved LEED certification.
  • For the first time, Kohl's achieved net zero emissions for the year. This is managed by reducing the company's carbon footprint that results from transportation, and other energy uses.
  • Kohl's recycled 77% of all the waste that the company generated in 2010. The company is the most efficient with cardboard/paper recycling. 79% of all products in this category were recycled during the year.
  • For the first time, Kohl's celebrated National Volunteer Week and Earth Day by encouraging associates to volunteer in their communities, which led to over 35,000 hours of volunteering.


  1. ^ a b c d e Kohl's Corporation Form 10-K, Securities and Exchanges Commision, March 21, 2014
  2. ^ "Kohl's Corporation SEC 10K/A Filing". Kohl's. September 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2012/full_list/101_200.html
  4. ^ http://www.stores.org/2012/Top-100-Retailers
  5. ^ Department Stores - 2012 Top 100 Power Players Retrieved Aug. 20, 2013.
  6. ^ Daykin, Tom. "1st Kohl's supermarket to be next Lena's." Milwaukee Sentinel June 14, 2002 [1]
  7. ^ Milwaukee Sentinel Oct. 28 1972, p. 6, pt. 2
  8. ^ Randle, Wilma (1989-02-22). "Kohl's to expand MainStreet". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  9. ^ Epmeier, Bill (2009-06-02). "A 'racetrack:' would it work for supermarkets? | Store Equipment & Design | Find Articles at BNET". Findarticles.com. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  10. ^ "Kohl's unveils new look at Burlington store". The Boston Globe. 2011-03-25. 
  11. ^ "KOHL'S Department Stores - shopping, retail jobs, career opportunities". 1998-12-05. Archived from the original on 1998-12-05. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  12. ^ "Site Views". Site Analytics. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Newsweek, Greenest Big Companies in America – The 2009 List". retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Newsweek –Green Ranking- Kohl's". retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  15. ^ "2010 Sustainability Report". retrieved October 30, 2011. 

External links[edit]