Kohl’s Makes a Smaller, Mightier Store Part of the Omnichannel Experience

05/12/2017
Kohl’s Marshfield, Wis., store is an example of the company’s new smaller format store..
Kohl’s Marshfield, Wis., store is an example of the company’s new smaller format store..

It’s been said that good things come in small packages. That’s the way we feel about our newest and smallest Kohl’s store format.

As an omnichannel retailer, Kohl’s aims to reach customers whether they shop online at Kohls.com, from the Kohl’s App or in one of our more than 1,100 stores nationwide. Considering about 85 percent of Americans live within 15 miles of a Kohl’s store, our stores are a big asset in helping reach our customers.

We also know the importance of being more efficient with our resources and leveraging technology within our stores which is why Kohl’s stores have evolved over time, bringing us to our current 35,000 square-foot store prototype.

First introduced in spring 2016, these stores have proven to be flexible as well as efficient. Since we opened the smaller format stores in Christiansburg, Va., and Sault Ste. Marie, Mi., we have learned how to make a big impact in a smaller setting.

The 35,000 square-foot store has 33 percent less space and 25 percent less inventory than a standard Kohl’s store. The stores are equipped with kiosks for online orders and have full buy online, pick-up in store capabilities – meaning customers can still access all the amazing products they love.

Those first 35,000 square-foot stores provided great opportunities to test and learn what works in a smaller space. Initially, customer service was at the middle of the store, but it has since been moved to the front of the store. Inventory levels have also been adjusted over time. 

The wide, open interior brought new challenges, like defining spaces and showcasing compelling merchandise displays within the departments. Fixture finishes are all white, which provides flexibility across departments. Signage within the store has been updated, creating a more consistent look and feel, with more navigational signs to help customers find what they are looking for.

With these changes in mind, six more of these small but mighty stores were added in fall 2016, with additional locations planned for fall 2017.

Stores will always be an important way to enhance our customer experience in an easy, convenient way. This true omnichannel experience will help us along the path to be the most engaging retailer in America.

A key feature of the design is the open concept, with a high, exposed ceiling.
A key feature of the design is the open concept, with a high, exposed ceiling.
As part of the test and learn process, customer service was moved to the front of the store.
As part of the test and learn process, customer service was moved to the front of the store.
Departments and fixtures are designed to be flexible based on the needs of the store.
Departments and fixtures are designed to be flexible based on the needs of the store.
Clear signs and center department fixtures help customers navigate the store.
Clear signs and center department fixtures help customers navigate the store.