Kohl’s eyes vacant real estate for expansion

Menomonee Falls, Wis. Kohl’s Corp. said it is accumulating cash to absorb locations abandoned by shrinking or defunct retailers, according to a report on Bloomberg.

Kohl’s chairman and CEO Kevin Mansell said any store takeovers would come on top of as many as 25 new locations Kohl’s already plans to build for next year at a cost of about $275 million.

“Nobody’s come to us and said they want to sell us 50 stores, but I suspect it’s going to happen,” Mansell said. “We want to be in a position to act.”

Gottschalks, Goody’s and Mervyn’s bankruptcies have left plenty of real estate from which to choose. Mansell said Kohl’s has taken over 30 former Mervyn’s sites in California, which staged grand openings on Wednesday.

The cost to convert each former Mervyn’s was about $7 million, while it takes about $11 million to build a store from scratch, Mansell said.

In related news, among Kohl’s store openings on Wednesday was the company’s 59th California solar location. The new Point West store in Sacramento is also the 79th solar location nationwide for Kohl’s.

“Energy efficiency and green power are key business and environmental strategies for Kohl’s, and we continue to work to make them an integral part of building and expansion efforts,” said Ken Bonning, Kohl’s executive VP store planning and logistics. “Our solar program is a hallmark of our green power efforts, and we’re continuing to expand it because it demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and improving the environment directly in the communities we serve.”

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