Kohl's Company History Timeline

(3,882 Jobs)

In September 1962, after building Kohl's Food Stores into the largest supermarket chain in the Milwaukee area, Kohl opened his first department store in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

The first Kohl’s department store opened in Brookfield, Wisconsin in 1962.


In 1972, the British American Tobacco Company's United States retail division, Batus Inc., bought a controlling interest in Kohl's Corporation, which at the time operated 50 grocery stores, six department stores, three drug stores, and three liquor stores.


Herb Kohl left the management in 1979, eventually becoming a United States Senator and owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.


The grocery stores were sold to A&P in 1983, operating under the name Kohl's Food Store, and later Kohl's Food Emporium.


A group of investors, led by the senior management, purchased the company in 1986.


In 1988, the chain acquired 26 locations from the Chicago-based retailer MainStreet, gaining several stores in Chicago's suburbs, the Twin Cities, and Michigan.


Kohl's completed its initial public offering on May 19, 1992 and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol KSS.

When the company went public in 1992, there were 76 Kohl’s stores in the Midwest.


Kohls.com launched in 2001, giving Kohl’s an online presence that has grown and evolved over the years.


In February 2003, A&P put the Kohl's Food Stores up for sale, as part of an effort to reduce debt.


To raise money to repurchase its stock and open new stores, Kohl's sold its credit card division in 2006 to J.P. Morgan Chase for $1.5 billion.


Kohl's hired New York City advertising agency DeVito/Verdi in 2009 to strengthen the Kohl's brand via a series of national television, online, and social media campaigns.


In 2011, Kohl's replaced Chase with Capital One as their private credit card processing partner for an undisclosed sum.


Kohl's was awarded $62.5 million in tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation in 2012.


Opened in April 2013, Kohl’s Digital Center in Milpitas, California puts Kohl’s in the fast-paced technology industry and in close proximity to key technology partners.


Opened in June 2015, the Kohl’s Innovation Center houses collaborative space that brings our information technology, store planning, construction, and purchasing teams under one roof.


For more information about Kohl's, see our 2019 Fact Book.

The Off/Aisle stores were ultimately closed in 2019.

In that year Kohl's entered into a partnership with Amazon, which included a program where select stores would accept Amazon returns; in 2019 it was expanded nationwide.


On March 30, 2020, due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced that all Kohl's stores nationwide would be closed indefinitely.

Company Founded
Menomonee Falls, WI
Company Headquarter
Maxwell Kohl
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