Kohl’s Is Launching an Athleisure Brand as Active and Casual Fashion Soar in COVID-19 Times

Samantha McDonald
·2 min read

Kohl’s has debuted a new athleisure brand as the active and casual wear segments surge in coronavirus times.

The department store announced today the launch of private-label offering FLX (pronounced “flex”), which features performance fabrics, functional details and inclusive sizes. In addition, it shared that the entire collection was developed using sustainable methods and materials.

According to Kohl’s, the addition of the men’s and women’s label is part of its broader plans to expand its reach in the thriving athleisure space. It added that FLX complements its current brand portfolio, which includes boldface activewear names Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Champion, as well as casual labels Columbia, Croft & Barrow and Sonoma Goods for Life.

“As customers have been increasingly shopping for a more comfortable and casual lifestyle, Kohl’s identified a plan to more aggressively serve as the most trusted retailer of choice in these categories,” chief merchandising officer Doug Howe said in a statement. “With an emphasis on high-quality athleisure, FLX fills a white space in our current private brand portfolio and will be a great answer to these growing consumer trends.”

FLX’s collection is composed of core apparel like tees, loungewear and shorts, as well as seasonal items such as fleece, jackets and layering pieces. The assortment is also available in plus as well as big and tall sizes as Kohl’s seeks to expand its size offerings in active apparel. (The chain launched Under Armour and Adidas Plus early this year and debuted Under Armour Big & Tall last fall.) FLX will be available in select stores and online at Kohls.com starting in March.

As its active business continues to grow, Kohl’s said it has increased the square footage of the area dedicated to the category by 25% in roughly 160 of its stores. It has also introduced Adidas shop-in-shops in 175 outposts across the United States.

What’s more, the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer is evolving its casual brand assortment: It added Toms Shoes and Lands’ End to its portfolio last fall. Yesterday, the company shared that it was putting Cole Haan in its roster for the spring, when it expects to stock the label’s men’s and women’s casual, sport and dress styles, including the Zerogrand oxfords, plus loafers and knit sneakers.

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