What’s Driving Kohl’s Partnerships With Tommy Hilfiger

 What’s Driving Kohl’s Partnerships With Tommy Hilfiger

Kohl’s has made dramatic changes under CEO Michelle Gass’s leadership. In recent months. The company has brought several ‘famous name’ merchandise labels into the store to attract a younger, more active clientele. The latest move is to add Tommy Hilfiger’s men’s sportswear to an expanded assortment of active wear.

The Tommy Hilfiger’s assortment will be in 600 Kohl’s stores this Fall. There will also be an expanded assortment on Kohl’s.com. The apparel brand is globally recognized and considered “cool”. Kohl’s will carry timeless staples from Tommy Hilfiger as well as seasonal styles. Basically, Kohl’s is seeking to feature an elevated branded merchandise experience in its stores. The addition of the Tommy Hilfiger brand is just another step in this direction.

Michele Goss recently said: “During this time of incredible disruption, we have remained focused on meeting the needs of our customers and driving the continued transformation of our business.” This statement is important since the company has been aggressively building partnerships with such relevant brands as Under Armour

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and the Sephora shop-in-shops that will be in 200 locations this year (and a total of 850 stores by the end of 2023).

Tommy Hilfiger is known for reinventing classic style through a fresh, youthful lens. The brand has innovative designs and offers what I would call functionals fashion to meet the lifestyle looks so many customers want these days. It is a complement to brands like Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, Eddie Bauer, and Lands’ End that have all been add to the Kohl’s assortments in many of the stores. It is likely that other national brands will also be added to support the effort to create a more lifestyle-oriented store shopping experience

Many of the initiatives were announced in October 2020 as part of a broad strategy to accelerate growth and profitability. In the meantime, an activist group, which controls 9.3% of Kohl’s and includes Macellum Advisor’s Group LLC, Ancora Holdings Inc, Legion Partners Asset Management and 4010 Capital LLC, has aggressively pushed for changes in the board by nominating nine directors. On April 14, 2021, they settled with the appointment of two new board members. Margaret Jenkins, former chief marketing officer of the restaurant group Denny’s

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, and Thomas Kingsbury, former chief executive officer of Burlington Stores, have joined the board. In addition, Christine Day, former CEO of Lululemon Athletics

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, also joined as an independent board member.

Kohl’s is on the path to have 30% of its merchandise assortment in active wear. In today’s environment, that makes sense and will likely appeal to more young customers. I am anxious to hear more about Kohl’s strategy on May 12, 2021 when management will speak about the company’s plans for the future during its annual shareholder meeting.