Kohl's Corp. is reducing inventory and fixtures in its stores, making them "operationally smaller."By the end of 2017, nearly half of the 1,100-unit fleet will have been reformatted, Kohl's said Tuesday.So far, about 300 Kohl’s stores have been "optimized with new interior layouts becoming operationally smaller through balancing inventory and adjusting fixtures," the company said in its announcement.A Kohl's spokeswoman explained, "For optimizing the 300 stores, the box stays the same size but inventory is adjusted and the number of fixtures is reduced." No new construction or subleasing is involved, she said.In addition, the retailer is opening smaller format stores, including four 35,000-square-foot units this year, adding to the eight small format stores opened in 2016. The four new units will be in North Smithfield, R.I.; Blue Ash, Ohio; East Windsor, N.J., and Montebello, Calif.Kohl's cited some examples of actual downsizings, including the store in Warner Robins, Ga., which is being reduced from 89,000 square feet to 62,000 square feet. The Fort Smith, Ark., store will be reduced from 87,000 square feet to 62,000 square feet.In spring 2018, Kohl’s will open a new single-level, 55,000 square-foot store in Greenfield, Wis., replacing the two-level, 85,000-square-foot store in nearby Southridge Mall. Earlier this year, Kohl’s relocated an 80,000-square-foot Charlotte, N.C ., store to a nearby 55,000-square-foot location.The retailer said that "by optimizing and rightsizing stores based on customer and inventory needs, Kohl’s stores are able to operate more efficiently and provide a more engaging customer experience." Small format stores are "flexible and efficient, with fixtures that can be adapted by department and for localized merchandise and assortments."The company added that customers can browse and purchase the full selection of kohls.com merchandise via in-store kiosks and have merchandise shipped to their home for free.Other major chains, including Wal-Mart and Target, have been rolling out smaller format stores, and Macy's is examining much of its real estate portfolio for possible selling space reductions and alternative uses.At Kohl's, “Our stores remain at the core of our omnichannel strategy and we will continue to invest in them by opening smaller formats, rightsizing and optimizing our selling space and working to ensure that shopping in our stores is an engaging and inspiring experience for our customers,” said Kevin Mansell, the company’s chairman, chief executive officer and president.Kohl's also disclosed that a new e-commerce fulfillment center will open in Plainfield, Ind., in a matter of days. The 937,000-square-foot facility will process, fill and ship kohls.com orders and is equipped with "state-of -the-art technology." Kohl’s other e- commerce fulfillment centers are in San Bernardino, Calif.; Edgewood, Md.; Monroe, Ohio, and DeSoto, Tex.All Kohl’s stores fulfill and ship online orders, and serve as pick up locations for customers who buy online and pick up the packages at the store.
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