Just when we thought life couldn’t get any better with things like Build-A-Bear opening inside of Walmart and Kroger popping up at Walgreens locations, Kohl’s goes and rocks our world by partnering with much-loved grocery chain ALDI.
ALDI inside Kohl’s. This is happening, people — like right now. Here’s what they’re planning:
Kohl’s wants to shrink — and fill its extra space with ALDI.
The retailer is in the midst of adjusting its stores’ size to increase efficiency and shrink its energy footprint. The result will be smaller Kohl’s stores and extra space — space that Kohl’s wants to lease to European grocer ALDI.
Kohl’s has identified more than 300 stores that could house ALDI locations.
That’s more than a quarter of the total 1,100+ Kohl’s locations. There are five to ten “pilot” projects underway right now, but if it works, expect to see hundreds more ALDI stores attached to Kohl’s.
The first ALDI opened inside Kohl’s floor space earlier this month.
This first pilot in the partnership, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, isn’t a hybrid store. Kohl’s consolidated, cleared out unneeded space, and let ALDI move in.
You won’t be able to use Kohl’s Cash on grocery purchases.
Sorry, but Kohl’s says this partnership will keep the two stores separate. They’ll be run independently, have different entrances, and even have walls separating the stores. They’re just giving ALDI dibs on their extra space.
Both stores benefit from the partnership.
ALDI wants to be a major player in the U.S. grocery game, and shacking up with Kohl’s will help them grow from 1,600 stores to 2,500 stores by the end of 2022. Kohl’s will be able to hit its efficiency goals AND make money as a landlord to ALDI.
This is sort of a throwback to the Kohl’s of the 1960s.
Kohl’s used to sell groceries back in the day. Over the years, they phased out the grocery department to make room for more retail merch. Although they aren’t planning to sell groceries, the partnership with ALDI hearkens back to that one-stop-shopping vibe.