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Kohl’s Cuts 250 Jobs and Shakes Up Merchant Team

Kohl’s is eliminating 250 positions as part of a restructuring designed to position the retail chain for future success.

The job cuts will largely affect store leadership roles and positions in corporate headquarters, said Kohl’s, which is also reorganizing its merchant team. Executive vice president of product development Michael Gilbert and senior vice president, design and trend Chris Kolbe are said to be among the executives leaving, WWD first reported.

The shakeup “will empower decision-making, reduce management layers, streamline communications and drive greater efficiency in many areas of our business,” Jen Johnson, senior vice president of communications for Kohl’s, said in a statement.

Last fall, CEO Michelle Gass revealed Kohl’s goal to rethink the “entire canvas of the company” en route to becoming an “aspirational business.” The chain has made numerous attempts to reinvigorate the business in recent years, flooding stores with new millennial-friendly brands like Elizabeth and James, investing in plus-size private labels, curating emerging businesses with Facebook and notably partnering with Amazon to attract foot traffic.

Kohl’s, which hasn’t yet reported fourth-quarter sales, saw comparable sales tick up 0.4 percent in Q3.  Though peers like Macy’s and J.C. Penney have reported store closings this year, Kohl’s noted that its restructuring will not affect its brick-and-mortar footprint.

“The company is also continuing to invest in many areas of the business including our stores, technology and strategic growth initiatives,” Johnson said, noting Kohl’s “financial strength.” “The organizational changes we’ve made are driven by the evolution of our strategic business priorities to create a more agile and empowered organization to support our long-term sustainable growth.”