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Kohl’s plans store for CdA

Kohl’s, a fast-growing Midwestern department store chain, is planning to build a store in Coeur d’Alene north of Silver Lake Mall.

Kohl’s sells mid-priced apparel and household items, competing with retailers such as JC Penney, Target and Macy’s. The Menomonee, Wis., company is in the midst of rapid expansion, with plans to open 80 to 85 stores this year. One of its target growth areas is the Northwest.

Company officials did not return phone calls this week. However, Kohl’s has submitted a landscape plan to the city of Coeur d’Alene for an 89,000-square-foot store and 360 parking spaces at the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 95 and Aqua Avenue. Approval of the plan is a prerequisite for applying for a building permit, said Sean Holm, assistant city planner.

The site is owned by Prairie 95 LLC, according to Kootenai County records.

Kohl’s has ambitious expansion plans. In the past five years, the company’s annual sales have more than doubled – to $13.4 billion. In a one-day blitz, the company opened 65 stores on Monday. Kohl’s executives say that the company will operate about 1,200 stores by 2010, up from its current 800.

Kohl’s began moving into the Northwest this year. The company purchased the Mervyns store at Spokane’s NorthTown mall this spring, though it has not announced a timeline for converting the store to a Kohl’s. It also owns several Puget Sound-area Mervyns.

Some of Kohl’s growth depends on shedding a staid, no-frills, Midwestern image. Earlier this month, the company announced a new store prototype, incorporating display windows, higher ceilings and roomier, more comfortable dressing rooms.

Styles are also getting trendier. In addition to classic brands, such as Columbia Sportswear, Lee and Levis, Kohl’s has signed on designer Vera Wang for a line of clothing and accessories that will appear in stores in fall 2007.


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