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Kohl's on the Lookout for More Exclusives

Kevin Mansell, the retailer's chairman, president and ceo, said the company is prepared to shift into acquisition mode.

FEEDING THE BEAST: Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Kohl’s Corp., is ready to get extra close with brands to get an exclusive — something that he said is all the more important now that retailers are squaring off on the Web’s “equal playing field.”

“Our opportunity is to create more national brand relationships that are exclusive and propriety,” he told investors at the Goldman Sachs Nineteenth Annual Global Retailing Conference in New York. “It can’t be hit or miss. We can’t go a year without any. It’s got to be regular, so the customer is always excited.”

To deliver that jolt to shoppers, the company is prepared to shift into acquisition mode. “All of our exclusive relationships to date have essentially been licensed partnerships. That doesn’t mean that’s what it will be in the future. [The] outright purchase and acquiring of existing brands is certainly something that’s reasonable and rational for us to do.”