retail

Rock'n'Kohl's: Kohl's Expands JLo Love to American Idol, Rock & Republic

Posted by Dale Buss on March 23, 2012 04:11 PM

Just when Kohl's has been called out for having little relevance to pop culture compared with other major American retail brands, the queen of mid-range apparel chains strikes back.

Kohl's latest campaign features its best-known designer name, Jennifer Lopez, in a mock music video, "I've Got the Music In Me," that aims to make the department store chain more relevant to younger audiences. And that's not the brand's only high-profile musical duet

Kohl's still carries not only a JLo line but also one co-designed by Marc Anthony, her soon-to-be-ex husband. And what program do the two actually appear on together? Q'Viva!: The Choice, the Hispanic-talent search show a la American Idol.

And not coincidentally, Kohl's announced that it's producing Authentic Icon, a new private-label clothing line created with the producers of American Idol, which remains one of the nation's most popular TV programs despite somewhat-eroding ratings. Marketing of Authentic Icon will be incorporated into the FOX series.

Kohl's has just hatched a spring promotion that features three of America's best-known Olympians, a "Shop to Win" campaign depicting Dara Torres, Mia Hamm and Lindsey Vonn, experiencing the ever-broadening world of Kohl's fashion assortments, brands and value.

All of that should lay to rest the concerns expressed in Ad Age's about how Kohl's hasn't lived up to the places in pop culture carved over the decades by the other three giants of American retailing that are turning 50 years old this year along with Kohl's: Walmart, Target and Kmart. Yet, even ranking in the same sentence with the other three legends ranks as quite an accomplishment for Kohl's, a Wisconsin-based chain that has relied on its unique value formula to expand nationwide over the last 20 years.

Kohl's other rock'n'roll tie-in: it's the exclusive seller of the relaunched Rock & Republic brand. The celeb-favored R&R went bankrupt in 2009, only to be resurrected by Kohl's at a more affordable price point and reintroduced at the recent New York Fashion Week.

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