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Home a hero at Kohl's

Menomonee Falls, Wis. -- Home proved a key category for Kohl's Corp. during its second quarter, coming in second only to men's in sales performance, executives said during yesterday's late afternoon conference call.

Within the department, the stronger performances came from bedding, decorative home and luggage.

The debut in September of the Vera Wang and Food Network programs, which both include home, are part of Kohl's grander strategy of "fueling our private and exclusive brand growth with our ‘Only at Kohl's' effort…to drive awareness of these brands and their availability only at Kohl's … We are building for the future as we strive to continue to broaden our overall customer base," said Kevin Mansell, president.

He described both of these upcoming brand launches -- Simply Vera, rolling out in mid September, and thereafter Food Network, which has been pushed back to later in the month -- as "the two most important initiatives for fall 2007" although, he later added, these brands will be "a small part of our fall 2007 sales base."

As Kohl's broadens its brand offerings, it is further supporting them with fresher stores. The 29 newly remodeled stores -- which got facelifts more than two months ago -- are showing "pleasing results" thus far, "but it is still too early to draw any definitive conclusions," said Tom Kingsbury, senior evp

This fall, Kohl's is set to open 95 new units -- 85 of them in October, representing "our largest grand opening ever," Kingsbury said. The remaining openings are scheduled for early November.

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