In recent years, we have discussed the need for retailers to rethink how each uses their physical space to keep their brick-and-mortar stores relevant as digital commerce continues to grow.
The latest example of this effort is the recently announced partnership between Kohl’s and WW — the company formerly known as Weight Watchers.
The two are teaming on an initiative that will include the WW Healthy Kitchen line of housewares products and the creation of a WW Studio at a Chicago-area Kohl’s store in an effort to test the idea. The studio will host wellness workshops and provide a specially curated WW space for Kohl’s shoppers and associates.
Teaming with WW makes sense for Kohl’s as the retailer in recent years has worked to up its game in the world of health and wellness by adding brands such as Under Armour and Nike and carrying an extensive line of fitness trackers. In addition, both companies talked about the demographic similarities of their respective customer bases.
And give Kohl’s credit for once again thinking differently and looking for new initiatives that are designed to drive shoppers to its stores. When the department store retailer first announced it was carrying a select line of Amazon products and using its stores to handle customer returns to the e-commerce giant, many questioned this tactic.
Some viewed Kohl’s as selling its soul to the company being blamed for all the ills facing traditional brick-and-mortar retailing. But working with Amazon worked and led to increased store traffic at those stores that were part of the initial test.
The Kohl’s/WW program will roll out through the first half of the year, so it will be a few months before we get a look at the in-store product set and if the WW Studio will drive store traffic and lead to increased sales.
Until then, kudos to Kohl’s for developing a unique way to enhance its stores. And I’m sure we’ll see other retailers now looking for similar opportunities going forward.