If You Shop at Kohl's, Prepare for This "Game-Changing" Upgrade at All 1,165 Stores

The department store is expanding one of its most successful collaborations.

Department stores just don't have the reach they once did. Bigger companies like Sears and Macy's have been forced to shutter locations, while dying shopping malls dominate retail headlines. But although Kohl's claims it's moving away from the department store model, the retailer is still a staple for many American families. The company has certainly faced its fair share of struggles, reporting an 8.1 percent fall in total revenue during an earning's call on Aug. 18, but Kohl's still has an optimistic outlook. Now, a new "game-changing" upgrade emphasizes the company's determination to give sales and stores a boost. Read on to find out what Kohl's announced will be introducing at all 1,165 of its stores.

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Innovation is at the forefront of Kohl's initiatives.

kohl's self-pickup
Kohl's

Kohl's is keeping up with the times. Earlier this month, the retailer announced plans to help you save time and skip the line. Kohl's rolled out its own self-pickup service on Aug. 10, which was strategically implemented ahead of the holiday season, the retailer stated in a press release. Orders placed online are ready in two hours when selecting in-store pickup, and you'll be emailed instructions with a link to your "Pickup Pass." Simply follow the directions, grab your order from a designated bin, and you're good to go.

The self-pickup feature was rolled out at all Kohl's locations nationwide, and now, the retailer has announced another upgrade that's coming to your local store.

You'll soon see a store-within-a-store at Kohl's—if you haven't already.

kohl's store
sanfel / iStock

Kohl's officially announced plans to open Sephora shops at all Kohl's stores, per an Aug. 18 press release. According to The New York Times, Kohl's operates a total of 1,165 stores across the U.S.

To date, the retailer has opened 600 Sephora shops, and in 2023, Kohl's plans to add an additional 250, CEO Michelle Gass said during an Aug. 18 earnings call. The Sephora shops are 2,500 feet in size, selling an assortment of the makeup and beauty products you would typically find at a standalone Sephora store. These shops are often positioned toward the front of Kohl's stores, per The New York Times, and Sephora's name is also displayed with Kohl's on the outside of the buildings.

The expansion announcement marks the one-year anniversary of the first Sephora shop opening its doors in Aug. 2021, according to the press release. Since then, 200 Kohl's stores with Sephora opened in 2021, and this summer, another 400 opened.

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The partnership is strategic on many levels.

kohl's and sephora
Kohl's

The move is intended to drive sales—Kohl's projects that it will help the company achieve $2 billion in annual sales by 2025—while also playing an integral role in the remodeling of Kohl's stores and brand image.

"Our game-changing partnership with Sephora continues to deliver on its promise of transforming Kohl's into a leading beauty destination," Gass said during the call. The partnership is also designed to help "update, refresh and reflow stores," per the press release.

Sweetening the deal, the beauty retailer is also helpful in attracting and maintaining a different customer base. "The new customers are younger and more diverse and shop more frequently than our average customer," Gass said.

Since the launch of the Sephora partnership in Aug. 2021, Kohl's gained one million new customers, the press release states. Jean-André Rougeot, president and CEO of Sephora Americas, said that Sephora's VIP "Beauty Insider" loyalty program also gained one million new members during the first year of the partnership, per The New York Times.

Future Sephora shops may look different.

sephora within kohl's
Billy F Blume Jr / Shutterstock

Plans to open Sephora shops at Kohl's were first revealed in Dec. 2020. The beauty retailer was looking to "reestablish a foothold in surburban areas," The New York Times reported, as they had previously with J.C. Penney. Now, Rougeot says the partnership "has delivered incredible results."

"At Sephora, our mission continues to be welcoming more people into the prestige beauty community, and we are achieving exactly that," Rougeot stated in the Aug. 2022 press release. "In the past twelve months, we've been able to bring the premium experience Sephora is known and loved for to new communities across the country, giving them the access to beauty that we know they are yearning for."

Existing Sephora shops are 2,500 square feet in size, and that layout will be used for the 250 shops opened in 2023. But for the final 300 stores, the retailers are working to "design a smaller footprint concept" to create "a Sephora presence across our entire store base," Gass said during the earnings call.

Taking the partnership one step further, Gass added that Kohl's is "testing cross-company BOPIS" (which stands for Buy Online, Pickup In-Store) allowing customers to place orders online at Sephora.com and pick them up at Kohl's stores.

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