Kohl's Corporation is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

 chain headquartered in the Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is the largest city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the 28th most populous city in the United States and 39th most populous region in the United States. It is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. According to 2010 census data, the...

 suburb of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Menomonee Falls is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States, and is part of the Greater Milwaukee area. The population was 35,626 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous village in Wisconsin. It is the fourth largest community in Waukesha County...

, operating , 1,089 stores in 49 states. In 1998, it entered the S&P 500
S&P 500
The S&P 500 is a free-float capitalization-weighted index published since 1957 of the prices of 500 large-cap common stocks actively traded in the United States. The stocks included in the S&P 500 are those of large publicly held companies that trade on either of the two largest American stock...

 list, and is also listed in the Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 (#135 in 2010). The chain was the 24th-largest retailer in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 2008 in terms of revenue.


Maxwell Kohl, who had previously operated traditional grocery stores, built his first supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...

 in 1946, the first in what would become a southeastern Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 chain known as Kohl's Food Stores. In 1962, he started his first department store, Kohl's Department Store, in Brookfield, Wisconsin
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Brookfield is a city located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. It had a population of 37,920 in the 2010 census. Brookfield is the second largest city in Waukesha County, and the leading commercial suburb of Milwaukee. The City of Brookfield was formed in 1954 from the Town of...

. He positioned Kohl's between the higher-end department stores and the discounters, selling everything from candy to engine oil to sporting equipment.

In 1972 the British-American Tobacco Company
British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco p.l.c. is a global tobacco company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second largest quoted tobacco company by global market share , with a leading position in more than 50 countries and a presence in more than 180 countries...

's US retail division, BATUS Inc., bought a controlling interest in Kohl's Corporation, which at the time operated 50 grocery stores, six department stores, three drug stores and three liquor stores. The Kohl family, led by Allen and Herbert Kohl, continued to manage the company. The family left the management in 1979, and Herbert Kohl became a United States Senator and owner of the Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. They are part of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and currently plays at the Bradley Center....

. The firm then expanded Kohl's presence from 10 to 39 stores in Wisconsin, Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 and Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

. The grocery stores were sold to A&P
The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, better known as A&P, is a supermarket and liquor store chain in the United States. Its supermarkets, which are under six different banners, are found in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. A&P's liquor stores, known as...

 in 1983, operating under the name Kohl's Food Store, and later Kohl's Food Emporium. In February of 2003, A&P put the Kohl's Food Stores up for sale, as part of an effort to reduce debt. In June of 2003, A&P announced their plans to close all Kohl's Food Stores and administrative offices. By the end of 2003, all Kohl's Food Stores locations were closed.


A group of investors, including the senior management, purchased the company in 1986, and the company added 27 more stores in the next two years. In 1988, the chain acquired 26 locations from Chicago-based MainStreet
MainStreet was a department store chain based in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The chain was launched in November 1983 by Federated Department Stores . Throughout the 1980s, the chain expanded to twenty-nine stores in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota...

, gaining several stores in Chicago's suburbs, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

 and parts of Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

. In 1992, the company went public and a period of expansion began. Kohl's entered mid-Atlantic markets in 1997 (opening in many former locations of Clover
Clover Discount Store
Clover was a discount chain of 26 stores operated by Strawbridge & Clothier in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Clover stores averaged , but the first five stores it opened, ran about to .-History:The first Clover store opened in 1971...

, an offshoot of the Strawbridge's
Strawbridge's was a department store in the northeastern United States with stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. In its day a gracious urban emporium, the downtown Philadelphia flagship store added branch stores starting in the 1930s and together they enjoyed annual sales of over a...

 corporation brand department stores in the Philadelphia region); Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 and the Northeast
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

 in 1999 (the latter market resulting from its purchase of many former Caldor
Caldor was a chain of American discount department stores headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, operating throughout the northeastern United States. At one time, the company was a subsidiary of May Department Stores; Caldor was among the country's largest discount retailers.Despite being a popular...

 locations); Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and the Southeast
Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....

 in 2001; New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 in 2002; California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and the Southwest
Southwestern United States
The Southwestern United States is a region defined in different ways by different sources. Broad definitions include nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah...

 in 2003; and the Northwest
Northwestern United States
The Northwestern United States comprise the northwestern states up to the western Great Plains regions of the United States, and consistently include the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, to which part of southeast Alaska is also sometimes included...

 in 2006. In April 2005, the company opened stores in Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and other Southern states
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Kohl's has replaced many former Mervyns
Mervyns was an American middle scale department store chain based in Hayward, California. It carried national brands of clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, and housewares. Many of the company's stores were in shopping malls...

 stores in the western U.S.

Kohl's design office opened in January 2007, located in the heart of New York's garment district. The 23000 square feet (2,136.8 m²) facility, located at 1359 Broadway, is the company's first product-design facility in the nation's fashion capital.

Existing stores are undergoing renovations to make them more modern and more like up-scale department stores. These re-modeled stores must be of a certain age and profit group in order to qualify for remodeling.

On October 13, 2009, Kohl's announced it was closing its oldest distribution center, located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, in order to more efficiently service its expanding number of stores. The inventory from the Menomonee Falls distribution center will be moved to a newer distribution center in Ottawa, Illinois
Ottawa, Illinois
Ottawa is a city located at the confluence of the Illinois River and Fox River in LaSalle County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 18,786...


On late 2010, Kohl's will be opening 40 new stores in the 2011 fiscal year.

As of January 2011, Kohl's stores were in 49 of the 50 states (only excluding Hawaii.)

Store design

Although some locations are in enclosed shopping malls, the majority of stores are free-standing.

Kohl’s operates differently from traditional department stores, like Macy's
Macy's is a U.S. chain of mid-to-high range department stores. In addition to its flagship Herald Square location in New York City, the company operates over 800 stores in the United States...

 or Nordstrom
Nordstrom, Inc. is an upscale department store chain in the United States, founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin. Initially a shoe retailer, the company today also sells clothing, accessories, handbags, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, and in some locations, home furnishings...

. The most noticeable distinction is that Kohl's stores have centralized checkout aisles, where a single line is used for check-outs.

Kohl's also uses a "racetrack" aisle that circles the entire store, a technique borrowed from discount stores but rarely used in department stores.

In 2011, Kohl's announced plans to remodel 100 of its 1,100 locations. Changes will include redone store sections, fitting rooms, and newer merchandise displays.

Kohl's Merchandise

Kohl's stores feature nationally recognized brand-name merchandise, exclusive labels, and private-branded goods, virtually the same merchandise mix as traditional department stores. The stores sell a variety of goods, such as apparel, shoes, and accessories for women, children and men, and home products such as small electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

, kitchen electrics, electric shavers, toothbrushes, vacuum
In everyday usage, vacuum is a volume of space that is essentially empty of matter, such that its gaseous pressure is much less than atmospheric pressure. The word comes from the Latin term for "empty". A perfect vacuum would be one with no particles in it at all, which is impossible to achieve in...

s & floor care, bedding
Bedding refers to the materials laid above the mattress of a bed for hygiene, warmth, to protect the mattress, and for decorative effect. Bedding is the removable and washable portion of a human sleeping environment. It is more easily and economically replaced than the bed itself...

, toy
A toy is any object that can be used for play. Toys are associated commonly with children and pets. Playing with toys is often thought to be an enjoyable means of training the young for life in human society. Different materials are used to make toys enjoyable and cuddly to both young and old...

s, and luggage
Baggage is any number of bags, cases and containers which hold a traveller's articles during transit.Luggage is more or less the same concept as "baggage", but is normally used in relation to the personal luggage of a specific person or persons Baggage is any number of bags, cases and containers...


Exclusive lines

  • Candie's
    Candie's is a clothing brand started in 1981. Originally a Charles Cole "El Greco" line of shoes, the brand was purchased by Iconix Brand Group in 1993. Since 2005, Kohl's Department Stores has had exclusive rights to the Candie's brand in all departments except shoes.Candie's sells juniors'...

  • Chaps by Ralph Lauren
    Ralph Lauren
    Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer and business executive; best known for his Polo Ralph Lauren clothing brand.-Early life:...

  • Simply Vera Vera Wang
    Vera Wang
    Vera Ellen Wang is a Chinese American fashion designer based in New York City and former figure skater. She is known for her wide clientele of couture bridesmaid gowns and wedding gown collections.-Personal life:...

  • Elle Contemporary Collection
  • American Beauty

  • Tony Hawk
    Tony Hawk
    Anthony Frank "Tony" Hawk , nicknamed "The Birdman" is an American retired professional skateboarder and actor. Hawk gained significant fame for completing the first 900 as well as his licensed video game titles distributed by Activision...

  • Marc Anthony
    Marc Anthony
    Marc Anthony is an American singer-songwriter, actor and producer. Anthony is the top selling tropical salsa artist of all time. The two-time Grammy and three-time Latin Grammy–winner has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. He is best known for his Latin salsa numbers and ballads...

  • Daisy Fuentes
    Daisy Fuentes
    Daisy Fuentes is a Cuban-American television host, model, and comedian. Daisy Fuentes broke barriers as MTV's first Latina VJ , and as Revlon's first Latina spokesperson to be signed to a worldwide contract.-Early life:Fuentes was born in Havana, Cuba to a Cuban father and Spanish mother...

  • Axcess
  • Bobby Flay
    Bobby Flay
    Robert William "Bobby" Flay is an American celebrity chef, restaurateur and reality television personality. He is the owner and executive chef of 12 restaurants: Mesa Grill in Las Vegas, New York City, and the Bahamas ; Bar Americain in New York City and Uncasville, Connecticut; Bobby Flay Steak...

  • LC by Lauren Conrad
    Lauren Conrad
    Lauren Katherine Conrad is an American television personality, celebutante, and fashion designer. She came to prominence with her starring roles on the MTV reality series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County and its spin-off series, The Hills, which at one point followed her personal and...

  • Jennifer Lopez
    Jennifer Lopez
    Jennifer Lynn Lopez is an American actress, singer, record producer, dancer, television personality, and fashion designer. Lopez began her career as a dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color. Subsequently venturing into acting, she gained recognition in the 1995 action-thriller...

  • Food Network
    Food Network
    Food Network is a television specialty channel that airs both one-time and recurring programs about food and cooking. Scripps Networks Interactive owns 70 percent of the network, with Tribune Company controlling the remaining 30 percent....

     housewares and cookware
  • Dana Buchman
    Dana Buchman
    Dana Buchman is an upscale women's fashion brand, and its founder, Dana Buchman, an American fashion designer and creative designer of the same name. It is owned by the Liz Claiborne fashion company.-History:...

Private brands

  • Apt. 9
  • Sonoma
  • Croft & Barrow
  • Jumping Beans

  • Urban Pipeline
  • Moments
  • So...
  • Tek Gear

Online shopping

The company has had a World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

 presence since 1998 and has offered online shopping since 2000. The domain kohls.com attracted at least 58 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com
Compete.com is a web traffic analysis service of Compete, Inc. which operates in the United States and publishes the approximate number of global visitors to the top 1,000,000 web sites in the world...


A virtual store on Stardoll
Stardoll is a browser game for girls and boys based around the paper doll concept. Launched in 2004, the website was attracting a reported 200 thousand unique users a month ; as of September 2011 there were over 124 million users worldwide...

 has launched with the brands Candie's
Candie's is a clothing brand started in 1981. Originally a Charles Cole "El Greco" line of shoes, the brand was purchased by Iconix Brand Group in 1993. Since 2005, Kohl's Department Stores has had exclusive rights to the Candie's brand in all departments except shoes.Candie's sells juniors'...

, Abbey Dawn
Abbey Dawn
Abbey Dawn is a clothing line designed by musician Avril Lavigne. The name goes back to Lavigne's childhood, where her father nicknamed her "Abbey Dawn", and her high school friends would often call her "Abbey". The line was initially described as a "Juniors' lifestyle brand", but since then has...

 and Mudd Jeans
Mudd Jeans
Mudd Jeans is a women's jeans brand marketed to young girls, teenagers, and women.The Mudd brand became popular in 1995 when they introduced their affordable flare-leg jean, which was a popular style at the time...

. Hang Ten
Hang Ten (brand)
Hang Ten is a sportswear brand known as "The Original Surf Brand" which first created boardshorts in San Diego, California, in 1960. Hang Ten is currently owned by American Brand Holdings of New Brunswick, New Jersey...

 was added to the store in 2010.

Environmental record

In 2009, Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

 magazine cited Kohl's in their "Green Rankings" which examines 500 of the largest corporations on their environmental track record. Kohl's was ranked 18th out of 500 overall, and was ranked 1st in their industry. Newsweek remarked that Kohl's has the largest solar power program of any retailer globally, that they pursue green building certification and over 78 locations in six states have solar panels. In addition, in 2008, Kohl's started to sell reusable shopping bags.

2010 Sustainability Report

In 2010, Kohl's published a Sustainability Report detailing their mission, sustainability strategies, and plans for the future. Kohl's actively pursues 5 distinct areas related to sustainability including, energy efficiency, building design, emission reduction, recycling / minimizing waste, and stakeholder engagement. The following are the highlights from each area for 2010.
  • Kohl's had 590 ENERGY STAR
    Energy Star
    Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products originated in the United States of America. It was first created as a United States government program during the early 1990s, but Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union have also adopted...

     labeled stores and 100 solar powered locations. The company also purchased enough green power to offset 100% of its energy use.
  • 72 stores and 1 office building achieved LEED certification.
  • For the first time, Kohl's achieved net zero emissions for the year. This is managed by reducing the company's carbon footprint that results from transportation, and other energy uses.
  • Kohl's recycled 77% of all the waste that the company generated in 2010. The company is the most efficient with cardboard / paper recycling. 79% of all products in this category were recycled during the year.
  • For the first time, Kohl's celebrated National Volunteer Week and Earth Day
    Earth Day
    Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. The name and concept of Earth Day was allegedly pioneered by John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. The first Proclamation of Earth Day was by San Francisco, the...

    by encouraging associates to volunteer in their community, which lead to over 35,000 hours of volunteering.

External links

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