If you want to get in a good workout, then reward yourself with a little retail therapy, Kohl's may be the spot for you.
The retailer, which has teamed up with companies ranging from Amazon to Weight Watchers, is now going to partner with Planet Fitness, which will open up to 10 gyms next to Kohl's locations this year, with more possibly to come down the line.
The gyms will be roughly 20,000 to 25,000 square feet.
At a time when traditional retailers are innovating to woo shoppers who are increasingly content to shop online, Kohl's has seized on a strategy to shrink the size of its stores, then invite partners to set up shop in the freed up space.
“We continue to see our right-sizing strategy as an important initiative to not only leverage our real estate assets but also drive traffic to our stores through key partnerships,” Michelle Gass, Kohl’s CEO said in a call Tuesday with investors, according to a statement.
Last month, Kohl's announced that it was teaming up with Weight Watchers, carving out roughly 1,800 square feet in a Chicago-area store to use as a WW meeting space for Kohl's shoppers and members of the weight-loss program. Kohl's will also sell WW products in some stores starting in June.
Kohl's has also said that it would reduce the size of roughly 12 stores and lease the newly opened space to the German discount supermarket chain Aldi. In 2017, Kohl's handed over designated space in several stores to Amazon, where the e-commerce giant's own sales associates could sell tablets, TVs and other gadgets that connect with Amazon's voice assistant Alexa.
The goal for Kohl's is to pick up customers who may be on the hunt for an Amazon speaker, interested in changing their diet, or in getting in a workout – and vice versa.
“In today’s evolving retail landscape, our differentiated approach to fitness continues to drive traffic to shopping centers across the country," Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness' CEO said in a statement adding that the partnership will also introduce Kohl's customers to its gyms.
Tiffany Hogan, senior analyst at Kantar Consulting, said that Kohl's and Planet Fitness could be a good fit.
"This partnership is a smart move, as it aligns well with Kohl’s growth and investment in active wear and health and wellness, and also drives frequent, organic traffic to Kohl’s locations,’’ she said.
Among department stores, Kohl's is a pioneer in aligning with other, varied businesses, Hogan said. But the retailer is mirroring what shopping malls have done for years, "adding grocery stores, bringing in fitness facilities (and) gyms as anchors, and offering physical space to digital retailers'' to draw customers.
Kohl's reported that sales at its stores open for at least a year ticked up 1 percent in the last quarter of 2018, a three-month period that includes the critical holiday shopping season.