Kohl's plans to lease unused store space to grocers, convenience stores

The sign outside a Kohl's store is seen in Broomfield, Colorado February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

(Reuters) - Kohl's Corp KSS.N plans to lease space left vacant after shrinking some of its stores to retailers such as grocery stores or convenience stores, the company said on Wednesday.

Not all of Kohl's roughly 300 "right-sized" stores will necessarily lease unused footage, at least at the start, Chief Executive Kevin Mansell said in comments reported by CNBC. (

He added that the company has already identified “a whole list of partners” and was also considering partnerships with competitors.

Kohl’s confirmed the plans outlined in the CNBC article.

“If we had our preference, we are going first after well-capitalized companies, and preferably ones that have high traffic in grocery and convenience,” Mansell told CNBC on the sidelines of the ICR Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The company has been cutting the size of some of its large stores to better manage inventories and other costs, and is also building small-format stores to access customers in suburbs.

It posted strong holiday sales on Monday, helped by online sales, the revamp of its beauty departments, and partnerships with brands such as Under Armour and Nike.

The company’s shares are up 9 percent since the report and hit a more than one-year high of $59.31 on Wednesday.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta