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Kohl's tries new home in Atlanta

Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, March 13, 2001

ATLANTA — When Kohl's took a bow last week in the Peach State, opening 15 Atlanta-area stores, it also took the wraps off its renovated home section.

In the all new Kohl's locations in the future, "home is one world, instead of two," said Jack Moore, evp, gmm, home.

In the past, he said, the home area had separate "visual points-of-view" for domestics, housewares and tabletop. Now it "ties everything together."

The home department, which comprises about 20 percent of the store, also features a home decor statement in the middle of the home area, which pulls together decorative pillows, rugs, throws, candles, frames and lighting in a cross-merchandised statement — product that was previously kept separate.

Moore added that themes may determine the product for that area at times, and others products may influence each other. For example, chenille decorative pillows may influence the color of the candles.

Kohl's also looked at its fixturing, and found it could be simplified, he said. As a result, the department has fewer fixtures throughout, further unifying it.

Assortments and price points have not changed, Moore said, and the area is still the same size. "We don't wait for grand openings for new programs, products and such...We're constantly changing the assortment to reflect the customers' wants." Right now, national brands make up 80 percent of the assortment, and the company's Sonoma Genuine Home Goods label is 20 percent. "We're known for national brands, so we'll build on that."

Every spring, Kohls expands into a new market, said Moore, and Atlanta was this year's pick. "It's a major market to expand to — it has a lot of new housing starts, the economy is good in the area. It's a win-win situation."

Clustering around Atlanta, the new locations in Georgia are in Stockbridge; Conyers; Austell; Holcomb Bridge; Snellville; Fayetteville; Acworth; Hiram; Newnan; John's Creek; Merchants Walk; Roswell; Cumming; Woodstock; and Duluth. Fourteen of them were built from the ground up, while one was a former Upton's location.

With these new locations, the department store retailer will operate 338 stores in 27 states.

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