- Kohl’s is bringing Planet Fitness gyms to as many as 10 of its stores.
- The gyms will fill empty space next to Kohl’s stores that are getting downsized to bring in retail partners.
- Kohl’s has been one of the few department store chains to avoid mass store closings and report strong sales during the retail apocalypse.
Kohl’s is bringing Planet Fitness gyms to some of its stores.
In an earnings call on Tuesday, Kohl’s CEO Michelle Glass announced that the department store would be shrinking the size of 10 of its stores and leasing space to Planet Fitness, as part of its "rightsizing" strategy. These gyms will be between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet in size.
A spokesperson for Kohl’s did not confirm where these gyms would be opening.
"We continue to see our rightsizing strategy as an important initiative to not only leverage our real estate assets but also drive traffic to our stores through key partnerships," Glass said.
Kohl’s has a similar partnership in place with Aldi, which also leases space in 10 of its stores.
Analysts say this is one of the reasons why Kohl’s has managed to stave off mass store closings and report strong sales during the retail apocalypse.
Rather than close stores, it has shrunk their size – opening smaller locations that are about 35,000 square feet (about one-sixth the size of a typical Macy’s store) and reducing the footprint of existing stores to make space for partnerships with other retailers, such as Aldi and Planet Fitness.
These partnerships also help to drive foot traffic to stores.
"We are excited to announce this initial expansion and partner with Kohl’s to drive new and complementary traffic to these locations, while introducing shoppers to our high-quality, judgement-free, fitness experience at a great value," Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau said in a statement to the press.
Rondeau called out possible new partnerships in an earnings call in February:
"Looking ahead, real estate trends appear to remain in our favor as many bricks and mortar retailers continue to close stores and landlords are increasingly looking to Planet Fitness as key tenants who drive traffic to their centers," he said.
He continued: "In addition, we are also working with a variety of retailers who are looking to downsize their boxes in markets, where we’re looking to expand our presence."
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