Kohl’s may not be the first retailer that comes to mind when shoppers think of digital pioneers, but the 57-year-old company has made tech innovation a priority in recent years, piloting programs with Amazon and introducing new features like self-checkout and locker pickups. Now, the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based brand is turning to Facebook as a partner in finding new brands it hopes will attract shoppers to its store and website.
On Tuesday, Kohl’s announced “Curated by Kohl’s,” which will highlight products from new and emerging brands as discovered by Facebook. The retailer is using the phrase “powered by Facebook” to describe the new offering, which will debut in mid-October at more than 50 Kohl’s stores and Kohls.com. Starting in 2020, Facebook will help identify brands that advertise on its platform that may be a good fit for the Kohl’s program. Brands will try for the privilege through an application process.
“Curated by Kohl’s provides the opportunity for us to showcase innovation, connect with digital retailers and team up differently with best-in-class digital platforms like Facebook,” said Doug Howe, chief merchandising officer at Kohl’s, in a statement.
Judging by the roster of brands that will join the initial rollout, Kohl’s is committing itself to digital players that have disrupted their categories by selling directly to consumers—such as lingerie company Adore Me and greeting card maker Lovepop. Kohl’s will also sell United by Blue, a sustainable apparel brand, and Kid Made Modern, a craft brand that already sells at retailers like J. Crew.
This isn’t Facebook’s first foray into fashion. The social network worked with Kohl’s rival Macy’s last year for a three-month holiday-season pop-up shop called The Market @ Macy’s. That collaboration brought Instagram-heavy brands like kitchen company Inspiralized to nine Macy’s stores.
Facebook signage will appear with the display marketing as part of the Kohl’s initiative.
Ad Age will take a closer look at the changing face of retail at Ad Age Next: d-to-c, a conference on Sept. 9. Buy your tickets here.