To stay nimble in an increasingly volatile landscape, Kohl’s has been working to slim down its retail footprint for a while. The move has been a good one for the brand, with its smaller stores far more profitable. And as Kohl’s has worked to shed some of its extra baggage, the department store chain will make room for Planet Fitness gyms at 10 of its locations, according to the Associated Press.
The two companies will not share a front door, but they plan to cross-promote services to their customers. Part of the idea behind occupying neighboring space is that Planet Fitness customers will pop into Kohl’s for an extra set of earbuds, a wearable activity tracker, or even sneakers. Planet Fitness, which will buy or lease space from Kohl’s, could benefit from the extra foot traffic near its facilities with so many shoppers passing by. If these first shared stores work out well, the initiative may expand to more locations.
It seems investors may be as pleased by the move as consumers could be. On Tuesday, shares of (KSS) Kohl’s stock went up nearly 8%.
The AP reports that other retailers may not be eager to follow in Kohl’s footsteps on this particular store-meets-gym model. Target chief executive Brian Cornell reportedly said he would not entertain a similar partnership. It’s worth noting, however, that like Kohl’s, (TGT) Target has found success in losing excess and opening smaller stores, especially in urban markets.
Kohl’s made a similar partnership with grocer Aldi a while back, and since chief executive Michelle Gass took the reins in May 2018, Kohl’s has also been working on partnerships with Amazon as it scales up its e-commerce offerings.