Over the years, numerous entities, including the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, owned various portions of the Kohls department store and supermarket empire. The last remaining supermarket bearing the Kohl's name closed in 2003. The Kohls, as it is known today, owned by the Kohls Corporation, began in 1986, completed its initial public offering in 1992, and by 2011, began paying quarterly dividends to shareholders.
As a department store, Kohls started in the 1960s by selling everything from clothing and sporting goods, to candy, motor oil, and home décor. A modern Kohls department store offers clothing for children and adults, home décor, children's toys, gifts, linens and jewelry. Kohls.com also offers shoppers the ability to shop from home and have items delivered through a large ecommerce website. According to Kohls Department Store executives, the chain now offers a mix of 52% national brands and 48% specialty, private or exclusive brands.
Shoppers in brick and mortar stores, as well as online shoppers, will find a variety of high-end merchandise at near-discount store pricing. Shopper rewards include email notifications of upcoming sales, Kohl's cash to be used toward items purchased, and other incentives. The goal of Kohl's Department Store is to offer shoppers a middle ground between expensive high-end retailers and low-quality discount stores. Branding efforts have included such slogans as “That's more like it,” and “Expect great things,” to highlight a customer's ability to get better quality merchandise without spending top dollar.