Kohl’s and Design
(posted: Mar 01, 2011)
Kohl’s Corporation is primarily known as a department store chain that operates 1,067 stores in 49 states, it is headquartered in Menomonee Falls and is an important part of the region’s design cluster. While it has a large, separate design office in New York City, it also has important design functions in the Milwaukee region and plays a role in building the design cluster in the region:
- Its product development division in the Milwaukee region is involved in all aspects of Kohl’s private brand development. According to the company, “This division is developing products for some of the most innovative and exclusive brand partnerships in retail, including Simply Vera Wang, Food Network, ELLE, and Tony Hawk.” Its product designers in Milwaukee design all aspects of these brands and help tie in strong in-store presentations and marketing plans.
- In 2008, Kohl’s opened a 105,000-square-foot photo studio in the city of Milwaukee. This studio turns out 115,000 photos a year, and employs 125 people, including photographers, stylists, and art directors. The studio has been called the largest green photo studio in the U.S.
- Kohl’s is helping to enhance the creativity of the next generation in Milwaukee. In 2010, Kohl’s provided a $2 million grant to Discovery World to create Kohl’s Design It. This program will allow children to experience product design firsthand. And, in 2010, Kohl’s also announced a more than $2.7 million donation over three years to the Milwaukee Art Museum for the continuation of the successful Kohl’s Art Generation program as well as new programs for kids and families. This grant further strengthens the museum’s role in providing innovative creative education for the region’s children and families.