Kohl arrives in downtown Milwaukee at the old Boston Store building

Kohl’s unveiled plans Friday, July 15 for its first-ever downtown Milwaukee store in the former Boston Store building.

“We’ve been a part of the community for over 60 years, but we’ve never had a downtown presence — and now is the time,” said Michelle Gass, CEO of Kohl.

“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome this iconic Wisconsin brand to downtown Milwaukee,” said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson.

Rendering of the new Kohl’s in downtown Milwaukee

Gass told media that there will be a Sephora presence in the new store — and that’s just part of Kohl’s overall growth strategy.

“I think it’s the perfect marriage of the ongoing efforts in the city of Milwaukee. The fact that we’re going to be here and there’s a concert hall and there’s a football field and that there’s all the kind of great food and entertainment that’s going on. And then with Kohl’s, we’re just rolling out our new store strategy; our small store strategy,” Gass said. “This store is an example of what we will be doing across the country.”

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Gass said Kohl plans to build about 100 new stores like the one in downtown Milwaukee over the next four to five years. They will all have a smaller footprint than what has traditionally been built.

Rendering of the new Kohl’s in downtown Milwaukee

Rendering of the new Kohl’s in downtown Milwaukee

The Boston Store’s parent company, Bon-Ton, went bankrupt in 2018, closing all of its department stores. This left 2,000 Wisconsin residents jobless.

The Grand Avenue Mall has since been rehabilitated with businesses like 3rd Street Market Hall bringing new foot traffic to the area.

The new downtown Kohl’s is slated to open in fall 2023.

This is a developing story.

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