What to Expect from Kohl’s New Smaller Footprint Stores

Kohl's - March 2012 Store Openings

One more major chain retailer has provided us with yet another example of the big box’s shift towards a smaller store footprint.  Last week Kohl’s announced the opening of 7 new smaller format stores across the US.  The new 64,000 square foot stores will be two-thirds the size of the traditional Kohl’s store (90,000 square feet).

According to the press release, some interesting new in-store features will include:

  • Updated check-out stations
  • Newly designed shopping carts and strollers
  • Reinvented beauty department
  • Upgraded fitting rooms throughout the store with fitting room lounges in Misses and Juniors
  • Expanded customer service area relocated to the front of the store in all locations
  • In-store Kohl’s Kiosks
  • Electronic signs in all departments

These new features will certainly make for an enhanced shopping experience.  However, one of these new additions – “Electronics signs in all departments” – is a sign of things to come at Kohl’s.

Altierre Digital Price Tags @ Walgreens & Kohl's

Kohl’s has seen positive feedback from its customers with regard to its digital pricing tags and is now deciding to roll them out into many more stores.  The price tags, provided by Altierre Corp, use a proprietary wireless network which is linked to the retailer’s POS system.  The wireless network uses 2 access points to connect to over 100,000 digital price tags that can hold battery power for 5 years!

What Does it All Mean?

For the Retailer – smaller format stores will help to penetrate the denser urban areas that see higher foot traffic.  Also, Altierre Corp’s supply of digital signs will allow retailers to run promotions on a much more frequent basis.  For example, Tuesday morning between 9 am and noon there could be a promotion on men’s apparel and in the afternoon the retailer could run a promotion on women’s apparel.

The more exact promotional windows will mean that Kohl’s will be able to create a more consistent traffic flow through its stores.

The price tags will also help the retailer save through (1) reduced labor costs associated with the tedious task of changing price tags throughout the store, and (2) a reduction in the amount of paper waste.

For consumers – the concept of digital price tags means there will be more opportunity to buy during promotional periods.  With increased adoption, these digital pricing signs mean that shoppers will find lower prices during high traffic times because the retailer will be able to make up the lower margin through higher volume.


RetailNet Group Subscribers can expect to see the full store tour of this new format on our corporate site by the beginning of next week. Click Here

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About Sean Deale

Sean is a Retail Industry analyst at RetailNet Group LLC. His focus is on tracking the leading retail growth platforms and the strategies behind them.


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