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Kohl's Grows with Brand Partners

Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 15, 2010 10:30 AM

What recession? If the sales being rung up at value-priced retailers like Target and Kohl's are any indication, a bad economy has been doing them good.

Kohl's recently reported that its total sales for a four-week period ending August 29 increased nearly 8% from the same period a year ago. Year to date, total sales have increased 9%. The chain's home business was particularly strong.

Following Target's strategy, Kohl's has launched exclusive partnerships and brands with a number of high-profile names. The chain carries Candies (including the exclusive Britney Spears for Candies collection, above), Chaps, Elle, Simply Vera by Vera Wang, and Rachel Ray, for example. Kohl's also has a deal with Aldo to produce an exclusive line of shoes to be available next year.

In fact, according to TheStreet.com, private label merchandise contributes more than half of Kohl's sales, and the category continues to grow. (Not unlike the advance of private labels globally, as we just reported.)

Now, apparently, Kohl's is readying to launch yet another new brand, a fact revealed by CEO Kevin Mansell during a recent retail conference. He was short on specifics, but Mansell claimed it would be "a contemporary, modern brand in the better to best price point."

Kohl's has been successful with its own private labels so far, so why not keep pumping them out? The company is living proof of the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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