LENOX – After years of speculation, the Kohl’s chain of stores, with more than 1,100 department stores in 49 states – more than any other in its category – is establishing itself in the Berkshires.

Kohl’s will occupy the new 39,000 square foot building to be built starting next spring in WS Development’s The Center at Lenox mall at 489 Pittsfield Road, just south of the city. The construction is expected to cost the developer several million dollars.

Kohl's aims to open department store in expanded center in Lenox

The Eagle reported last June, after Lenox’s zoning board approved the revised site plan and two amended special permits for the expansion, that Kohl’s was the likely occupant. The full-service retailer offers branded clothing, accessories and housewares, among many other categories.

What’s the latest ?: Adjacent to the department store will be the county’s first 110 grill, which offers “modern American cuisine in a hip, relaxed atmosphere with open kitchens, large horseshoe-shaped bars and outdoor patios with fireplaces, creating the perfect dining environment for any occasion,” according to the regional channel website.

• The regional chain has 21 branches in Massachusetts, including Hadley and Holyoke, six in New York State, including Albany and Latham, as well as six in New Hampshire, two in Connecticut and one in Rhode Island. The full menu, specific to Massachusetts sites, offers fresh, seasonal ingredients and gluten-free options.

What is the construction schedule? : “We plan to have blocks ready before winter,” said Melanie Carr, associate director for asset development and strategy at WS Development. WS operates the complex for owner MEC Lenox Associates Limited Partnership. In construction, buffer preparation refers to the process of preparing a site for a building. The existing complex includes Market 32, Carr Hardware, Marshall’s, CVS, a branch of Berkshire Bank, a Verizon Authorized Reseller and, soon to open, Luxury Nails & Spa. Five other commercial spaces remain available.

• The newcomers, Kohl’s and 110 Grill, are expected to open late next year after construction is complete, Carr told The Eagle. Kohl’s has 25 stores in Massachusetts currently open, including one in Riverdale stores in West Springfield and another in Springfield.

What they say : While Kohl officials did not respond to a request for comment, CEO Michelle Gass told a National Retail Federation conference last June that “while last year has been a very difficult time for so many people, we’re coming out of the pandemic stronger, with the moves we’ve made, the new brands we’ve drawn. Customers are going to be excited to walk into the stores, browse, find out how fun social experience shopping can be. Stores are going to have a renaissance, and I think people have underestimated how it’s going to play out. “

Follow the money: Despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, which led to a 23% year-over-year drop in store closures and revenue in the second quarter of 2020, Kohl’s executives remained optimistic, according to retaildive.com. Gass even said that Kohl’s was on the way to gaining market share.

• The chain continued to make strategic decisions, launching a private sports and recreation brand, FLX, a year ago with the goal of becoming a destination for active and casual lifestyle products. Additionally, Kohl’s and Sephora have announced their intention to establish at least 850 Sephora outlets within Kohl’s by 2023.

• As customer traffic improved, revenue increased 30% to $ 4.4 billion in Kohl’s last quarter and its net profit reached $ 382 million from $ 47 million dollars compared to the same period last year. Company executives have hinted that they plan to add several partnerships that will continue to drive sustainable growth.

• Digital improvements during the coronavirus pandemic will continue, Gass noted, including curbside pickup and “online shopping, in-store pickup”.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at [email protected]hoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at

413-637-2551.


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