Kohl’s to Introduce New ‘Discovery’ Shops Featuring Emerging & Diverse-Owned Brands in 600 of Its Stores

Kohl’s is making some changes to its stores as it gears up for back-to-school season.

On Monday, the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer unveiled “Discovery @ Kohl’s,” a new shopping experience that curates “new and seasonally relevant brands” throughout the store. According to the company, Discover @ Kohl’s will feature dozens of emerging, established and diverse-owned brands that are new to its stores. The experience will be rolled out across 600 Kohl’s locations as well as Kohls.com.

According to the company, the first Discover @ Kohl’s experience features a designated back-to-school area that highlights brands that incorporate a give-back purpose, as well as a women-founded activewear brand.

This new launch also gives the retailer an opportunity to introduce over 30 new diverse and women-owned brands this year.

“The experience is not only designed to inspire, intrigue and bring a new sense of exploration to Kohl’s, but it also contributes to our overarching efforts to modernize, transform and elevate our store and online experience for our customers,” Ron Murray, Kohl’s interim chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. “Discover @ Kohl’s has also given us the opportunity to partner with truly unique and emerging brands that are hard to find anywhere else, and brands customers will feel good about purchasing from.”

Kohl’s also said on Monday that it is launching a new partnership with Billy Footwear — an adaptive footwear brand that makes shoes with zippers for an easier fit. And it has debuted more gender-neutral collections for kids to “drive inclusivity and representation.”

This news comes weeks after the retailer withdrew from exclusive talks with a suitor to sell itself. Kohl’s announced in early June that it entered into exclusive negotiations with Franchise Group Inc. for a three-week period to discuss an offer to sell Kohl’s for $60 per share. The three-week period was meant to allow both parties and their partners enough time to complete negations for the sale, Kohl’s said.

Franchise Group, the owner and operator of retail chains including the The Vitamin Shoppe, Buddy’s Home Furnishings and Pet Supplies Plus, reportedly placed a $9 billion offer to acquire Kohl’s in April at a deal priced at $69 per share. According to a filing with the SEC on June 30, Franchise Group made a renewed bid at around $60 per share on June 6 and revised that to $53 per share on June 29. The Kohl’s board met the next day to discuss this offer and ultimately decided to reject it.

Kohl’s said that its board is still “open to any opportunities to maximize shareholder value.”

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