NEW YORK — Kohl’s Corp. is getting ready to mount up.
The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer said Wednesday it would begin selling Chaps in its men’s department early next year.
Starting off with woven and knit tops, pants, dress shirts and ties, the brand will eventually roll out in product categories throughout men’s.
Chaps is owned by Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. and is produced by The Warnaco Group Inc. under a license that was amended last year to extend through 2018 with renewals.
The amended licensing pact with Warnaco changed the brand’s name to Chaps from Chaps Ralph Lauren, altered the logo and allowed for the addition of a denim line as well as a move to midtier chains.
Chaps is currently sold in traditional department stores such as Macy’s, a division of Federated Department Stores Inc.
“The price point in the midtier will be the same as in the current channel,” said a Warnaco spokeswoman. “We would hope to continue to sell in the current channel as well as expanding to the midtier.”
According to Warnaco’s annual report, Chaps posted sales of $129.6 million in 2003, a 5.6 percent drop from a year earlier.
As brands move into less expensive stores — for instance, from traditional department stores to national chains such as Kohl’s — the more upscale stores sometimes shy away from them to avoid the perception of migrating downward.
“With the addition of Chaps, we achieve a fuller spectrum of styles that address the fashion demands of today’s male shopper,” said Kevin Mansell, president of Kohl’s, in a statement.
While plans have yet to be finalized, Polo also wants to take the brand into women’s apparel for fall 2005.