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Kohl’s Invests in IT

The retailer had a difficult 2012, but its Internet business is growing rapidly enough to support some major investment in Silicon Valley.

Kohl’s Corp. had a difficult 2012, but its Internet business is growing rapidly enough to support some major investment in Silicon Valley.

On Monday, Kohl’s opened a 52,000-square-foot information technology office at 620 North McCarthy Boulevard in Milpitas, Calif., which will serve as an extension to the IT team at the Menomonee Falls, Wis., corporate office. The new facility will initially have more than 30 associates and is expected to add people as the Internet business continues to grow. The facility is geared to further Kohl’s online sales growth and omnichannel initiatives, including process automation and the replatforming of kohls.com. All Kohl’s stores are now Wi-Fi-enabled and Kohl’s plans to pilot mobile point of sale in the third quarter.

The company said online sales reached $1.4 billion last year, and for the past three years it has yielded an excess of 40 percent annual growth. Overall sales, however, grew just 2.5 percent last year to $19.3 billion. Net income was down 16.7 percent to $1 billion.

“We know consumers are seeking a seamless experience and instant access to information whether shopping online, on their mobile device or in store,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We have made significant investments in our IT and omnichannel initiatives to ensure we have the platforms, technology and tools to allow customers to shop when they want and from where they want. We are excited to have a presence in one of the country’s leading technology hubs and increased proximity to our partners and talent on the West Coast who can help bring our initiatives to life.”