Tommy Hilfiger is coming to Kohl’s.
The department store is bringing men’s sportswear from the American fashion icon to more than 600 stores across the country this fall, alongside an expanded offering on its e-commerce site.
As part of the partnership, Kohl’s will feature what it calls an elevated branded in-store and merchandise experience in nearly 100 stores, highlighting the brand’s trademark red, white and blue aesthetic.
Within this fall collection, consumers will be able to browse Tommy Hilfiger sweaters, denim jeans, button-down shirts, vests and outerwear, as well as essentials including polos, T-shirts, shorts, joggers and hoodies.
Tommy joins a growing list of fan favorites augmenting Kohl’s assortment, including Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, Eddie Bauer, Lands’ End, Sephora and Toms, with most of these partnerships just getting off the ground this year.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Kohl’s is introducing the partnership with Calvin Klein, PVH’s other marquee brand, at around the same time and in approximately the same number of locations. Kohl’s will sell Calvin Klein underwear, intimates and loungewear in more than 600 stores and online this fall.
The department store is building out this network of partnerships with key national brands in an effort to carve out a foothold in the active and casual lifestyle space. Activewear is a priority for Kohl’s, with the department store setting a goal to grow the category to 30 percent of its business. Athleisure and activewear drove 20 percent of business at Kohl’s as of September last year.
To further this goal, Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass said the company will increase space dedicated to the segment by at least 20 percent this year.
The Tommy Hilfiger partnership leverages Kohl’s nationwide footprint, covering more than half of the company’s approximately 1,100 stores and online presence in an effort to expand its connection with U.S. consumers via not just product, but rich and innovative digital content.
“We are excited to partner with Tommy Hilfiger, one of the world’s most recognizable designer lifestyle brands, to bring their iconic assortment of casual essentials to our 65 million customers nationwide,” said Doug Howe, Kohl’s chief merchandising officer. “Known for seamlessly blending premium styling, quality and value, the Tommy Hilfiger brand brings consumers aspirational and accessible apparel designed for everyday wear. The addition of Tommy Hilfiger further supports our continued work to evolve our brand portfolio to increase our relevancy with our loyal customers and bring new customers to Kohl’s.”
Kohl’s has been a big proponent of the partnership model, even entering unconventional deals with Aldi and Planet Fitness to lease excess space from their stores to these businesses in an effort to generate traffic.
The Tommy Hilfiger tie-up comes on the heels of a board shakeup at Kohl’s after a group of activist investors instigated change at the retail company.
The activist group of Macellum Advisors, Ancora Holdings, Legion Partners Asset Management and 2010 Capital, which together hold 9.5 percent of the retailer’s shares, sought to overhaul Kohl’s from top to bottom, from how it leverages its real estate to its method of inventory turn to its overall merchandising strategy. The activists are “skeptical” of its partnership with Amazon, which enables shoppers to return items in Kohl’s stores, but has been questioned as to whether the increased traffic drives a tangible sales boost.
In its most recent quarter, Kohl’s saw total revenue fall 10.1 percent from $6.83 billion to $6.14 billion, with digital sales growing 22 percent year-over-year and accounting for 42 percent of net sales.
On the other side, the Tommy Hilfiger brand will likely be involved in more tie-ups aimed at increasing the brand’s exposure amid recent executive changes. In late March, the brand revealed it had appointed former Gap chief marketing officer Alegra O’Hare as the CMO of Tommy Hilfiger Global. In the role, O’Hare is developing and executing global marketing strategies to reach and engage existing and new customers. The move came only four months after Avery Baker was promoted to president and chief brand officer of Tommy Hilfiger.
Tommy’s most recent collaboration came in partnership with Amsterdam-based streetwear label Patta for a unisex capsule collection focused on the Pan-African Flag and Black unity. Within the collection, Tommy Hilfiger’s signature red, white and blue colors have been replaced by the traditional Pan-African colors of deep red, black, green and yellow.