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Kohl's announces store closings and shoppers await closeout sales

Following a February announcement that they would be closing 18 stores nationwide, on Thursday Kohl's listed the specific locations. Three are in metro Atlanta.

The stores at 2342 Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell and Northlake Mall, 4820 Briarcliff Road, will close June 19. The Stonecrest Mall location at 2929 Turner Hill Road in Lithonia, will close Nov. 1.

“While the decision to close stores is a difficult one, we evaluated all of the elements that contribute to making a store successful, and we were thoughtful and strategic in our approach. We are committed to leveraging our resources on our more productive assets,” said Kohl's chairman, CEO and President, Kevin Mansell, in a statement.

Half of the stores that will close are in California, others are in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey and Wisconsin. The closures are at underperforming stores which represent less than one percent in total sales, according to the company. Store associates who are impacted by the store closures will be offered positions at a nearby location or a severance package, Mansell said.

There are more than 20 Kohl's locations throughout the metro area. The soon-to-close Northlake store is the only location in Atlanta. Kohl's has historically performed well in the metro area, according to company representatives, but as evidenced by the remaining locations, this is mostly true outside the city of Atlanta.

Some Atlantans reacted to the news with disappointment, particularly noting that the departure of the Stonecrest location and the Northlake location will be a blow to malls that already seem to be barely hanging on.

Shoppers also wondered when or if Kohl's would be marking down merchandise at the locations that are scheduled to close. While there has been no official word on this from corporate representatives, a store employee said they are not currently liquidating merchandise.

Kohl's has been testing several locations of an off-price outlet store called "Kohl's Off Aisle" with a year-old location in New Jersey and two locations in Wisconsin expected to open in March or April.

They are also planning to open five to 10 stores that are smaller in size (35,000 square feet compared to 80,000 square feet) in underserved markets like city centers (which could now be considered the city of Atlanta.) The smaller stores will have more flexibility in tailoring the mix of merchandise at each location.

In addition, the company will open 10 to 15 outlet stores for Fila (a proprietary brand of Kohl's) this year. They are expected to make similar transitions for other brands that have the name recognition to become standalone stores.

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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.