Attention Kohl's Shoppers: Grocery Could Soon Be Coming to a Store Near You


It goes without saying that, if a brand wants to survive in the competitive world of consumerism, it must adapt and overcome certain obstacles in order to do so.

Following in the footsteps of mega-stores such as Target or Walmart, the ever-popular Kohl’s is reportedly looking to add in a grocery sector of its own.

The move, the Kohl’s suggests, has the possibility of benefiting the company greatly. And who doesn’t like to kill two birds with one stone?

The risky move is rumored to add some much-needed foot traffic from customers who shop for anything from clothing to home goods and want to get all their products in one place.

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The brand is looking to carve out space in a number of department stores to lease to a convenience store or grocery tenants such as Whole Foods or other established brands.

It seems the Menomonee Falls-based chain has been carrying out plans for some months now as it attempts to blend online shopping and brick-and-mortar efforts, according to Journal Sentinel. The company began that plan when it struck a deal with Amazon, creating a partnership with 82 different stores.

And Kohl’s itself had somewhat flourished over the holidays, with sales at established stores up nearly 6.9 percent from 2016, and their stock climbing 40 percent since October. All in all, it seems to have been a good season for the company to turn a new leaf.

In fact, as many other well-known chains seemed to fall on hard times throughout 2017, Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell admitted that, for his company, it was a period of “right-sizing.”

“If we had our preference, we are going first after well-capitalized companies,” Mansell said. “Preferably ones that have high traffic in grocery and convenience.”

However, Mansell declined to recognize if Whole Foods was actually among the prospective list.

Yet, the move wouldn’t necessarily combine a grocery sector and home goods department in one solitary space such as Target or Walmart. Rather, the chain would separate the spaces via interior walls, effectively creating two spaces under one roof.

And though some experts have vocally opposed the switch — or in this case, add-on — others seem a little more optimistic, such as Cynthia Holcomb, Founder & CEO of Prefeye Preference Science Technologies Inc. She admits, however, it must be done correctly.

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“Somehow, buying fresh produce and meats in an apparel, soft goods environment steals one’s taste buds. Ask Target,” she said.

“I do think adding convenience items would be interesting if done with a ‘fresh’ viewpoint, not a commoditized offering, but through the filter of Kohl’s POV offering,” she added.

“An opportunity to add new depth to the Koh’s brand, in an authentic, modern twist to the brand.”

And Holcomb might just have a point. As much as large brands are hungry for increased foot traffic, they should tread lightly in risking this authenticity for the sake of consumerism, as customers are likely to spot the difference.

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ASU grad who loves all things reading and writing.
Becky is an ASU grad who uses her spare time to read, write and play with her dog, Tasha. Her interests include politics, religion, and all things science. Her work has been published with ASU's Normal Noise, Phoenix Sister Cities, and "Dramatica," a university-run publication in Romania.
Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing
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