Kohl's pens exclusive partnership with the Olsen twins' Elizabeth and James brand
With its sights firmly set on millennial consumers, American department store chain Kohl’s announced on Wednesday that it has entered into an exclusive retail partnership with Elizabeth and James, the women’s lifestyle brand founded by the Olsen twins in 2007.
The deal will see the chain become the exclusive retailer of Elizabeth and James apparel, handbags and accessories, which will hit Kohl’s stores nationwide, as well as the retailer’s e-commerce platform, starting this holiday season. Prior to the partnership, Elizabeth and James was available at a range of high-end stores including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's. Under the new deal, the brand's fragrance will still be sold by other retailers. Elizabeth and James will continue to operate as a separate business under founders and co-creative directors Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The twins will maintain their current position, collaborating with design teams at Kohl’s to lead the brand’s product design, which will now be managed at the Kohl’s New York Design Office. “We’re excited to partner with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, two highly-regarded designers in the fashion industry, to bring the Elizabeth and James brand to Kohl’s customers nationwide,” said Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass in a release. “This is another great example of how we are bringing newness and fashion relevancy to the millions of women who shop Kohl’s. We also know that Elizabeth and James will support our efforts to drive new customers, particularly millennials, to Kohl’s.” Indeed, the new deal is part of a wider strategy currently being implemented at Kohl’s in the hopes of catching the attention of this potentially lucrative target demographic. Other millennial-focused initiatives undertaken by the department store chain include the upcoming introduction of Nine West to its stores later this year and the launch of Popsugar at Kohl’s in September 2018. The partnership also represents an interesting opportunity for Elizabeth and James, as highlighted by the Olsen twins, who pointed out that the brand’s introduction to Kohl’s digital platform and vast network of over 1,100 stores will allow it to reach a much wider audience. “Kohl’s is doing a great job with innovation and thinking differently about omnichannel retail. We have always seen Elizabeth and James speaking to a much larger audience and this new business model with Kohl's will allow us to achieve that," explained Ashley Olsen. "Mary-Kate and I are excited to work with them building out additional lifestyle categories and curating spaces that will bring a new shopping experience to our customer." The twins, who have received CFDA Awards on three occasions, also design successful luxury label The Row, whose distribution partnerships are unaffected by the new deal with Kohl's.
By Robin Driver
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