Kohl's smaller plan serves as learning experience

Looking to serve communities of 100,000 people or less, Kohl's bowed a smaller footprint store last fall in four markets, said Kevin Mansell, president, at the Merrill Lynch Global Retailing Leaders Conference last week. Though it looks a lot like the typical 89,000-square-foot format, the 60,000-square-foot test store has only one entrance, instead of two, and will offer a select assortment of all of Kohl's six major businesses. "The purpose of doing this is to learn," he said — to learn how to to edit assortment, how big the store should be and such. The focus of the retailer's growth will remain on its larger format, but "we will get huge learnings out of this."

With 80 stores slated to open this year, Kohl's will enter into the new markets of Phoenix and Las Vegas this fall. Significant new markets in the Southwest will be added next year, which has a total of 95 to 100 additional stores planned.

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