March 5, 2010, 12:00 AM

Kohl’s heads west to open a new e-commerce distribution center

To expedite fulfillment for online shoppers in California and other Western states, Kohl’s is opening a new distribution center near San Bernardino, CA.

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Kohl’s Corp. wants to get closer to its online shoppers, especially on the West Coast.

To expedite picking, packing and shipping to online shoppers in California and other Western states, Kohl’s, No. 50 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is opening a new distribution center near San Bernardino, CA.

Initially the new center, which will occupy almost one million square feet, will fulfill Kohls.com orders in all 50 states, but in 2011 will be dedicated strictly for packing and shipping West Coast orders. Kohl’s now has 11 distribution centers that ship merchandise to its stores and a dedicated e-commerce fulfillment hub in Monroe, OH.

“As we continue to deliver on our promise to expect great things, the new facility furthers our capacity to support the tremendous growth of our e-commerce business,” says Ken Bonning, Kohl’s executive vice president of store planning and logistics. “Since 2003, we have operated a retail distribution center in San Bernardino, and the city has been very supportive of Kohl’s. We’re proud to broaden our presence and bring additional jobs to the community.”

The new facility, which could employ as many as 500 workers, is needed to support a growing e-commerce business, the retailer says. Annual web sales at Kohl’s increased 38.1% to $491.5 million from $356.0 million in 2008. “We`re making a major new investment in capital and infrastructure in our e-commerce business to fuel future growth,” CEO Kevin Mansell told Wall Street analysts on the chain retailer’s year-end earnings call. “Based on our research and our own results, it appears that our opportunity in this business is substantially larger than we originally envisioned.”

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