Its latest partner: Planet Fitness
Teaming up with Planet Fitness is Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass' latest creative tactic to customers. Last year, the retailer announced a pilot program with supermarket chain Aldi to lease out space at up to 10 stores. Kohl's has more than 1,100 locations around the country.
Kohl's hopes that customers will head to Planet Fitness for a workout and visit Kohl's next door to buy new jeans or a top. The retailer has been aggressively adding new athletic wear to its lineup, including products from Under Armor and Fitbit. "" We see the Planet Fitness partnership as a real win-win, "Gas customs analysts on an earning call Tuesday. "It's going to be a great fit for us and for our customers."
Downsizing its existing space is also part of the strategy. Kohl's says it saves money by carrying less inventory and employing fewer workers. And the company says the smaller spaces are easier for customers to navigate.
Some analysts argue that Kohl needs bigger steps to attract customers and shrink stores, especially since people spend more of their time shopping online now.
"We believe the management team needs more aggressive in the near term closing stores and moving towards the smaller format," said Brian Yarbrough, analyst at Edward Jones.
For Planet Fitness, teaming up with Kohl's will help it gain exposure. The company wants to double its US footprint to 4,000 stores in the coming years, CEO Chris Rondeau last week analysts analysts The Kohl's partnership factors into that strategy the country.
"Real estate trends appear to remain in our favor," Rondeau said. "Bricks-and-mortar retailers continue to close stores and landlords are increasingly looking to Planet Fitness as key tenants to drive traffic."