America’s Largest Department Store Chain is Officially For Sale

Who will become the new owner of the biggest department store chain in the U.S. and what will it mean for consumers? One answer may come quickly, while the other likely will not.

Just a couple of months ago, I shared the news that Kohl’s, which has more than 1,100 locations in 49 U.S. states, was fighting a hostile takeover of the company. Now comes news that the sale sign has officially been hung on the company, and Kohl’s has entered into what CNBC describes as “exclusive sale talks” with a publicly-traded business.

The company trying to acquire Kohl’s is Franchise Group. Formed three years ago, they’re the owners of The Vitamin Shoppe, Pet Supplies Plus, and Buddy’s Home Furnishings. Those three businesses, combined, have more than 1,600 stores. Franchise Group also owns Sylvan Learning, among other businesses.

CNBC says Kohl’s and Franchise Group are in the midst of a three-week period of exclusive sale talks. Franchise Group has reportedly offered about $60 a share for Kohl’s. That equates to approximately $8 billion.

If Franchise Group is successful in purchasing Kohl’s what does that mean to customers expecting to see Sephora land in their favorite Kohl’s stores this year? In February, Kohl’s announced they were adding Sephora’s beauty and personal care products to 400 stores across the nation this year. That list includes Iowa locations in Ankeny, Cedar Falls, northeast Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Davenport, and Dubuque.

Another popular question… would Kohl’s continue as a location to drop off returns to Amazon? It’s something they started in the spring of 2019. Dropping that seems highly unlikely to me. One thing all stores desperately need is foot traffic.

Who will end up taking over Kohl’s? Stay tuned.

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