Activist investors urge Kohl’s to cut real estate, inventory

Kohl’s investors have a list of changes they want implemented. (Getty)

A group of activist investors have something to say about Kohl’s.

Macellum Advisors GP, Ancora Holdings, Legion Partners Asset Management and 4010 Capital are attempting to control the company’s board and influence its trajectory, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Together, the group owns a 9.5 percent stake in Kohl’s. Earlier this year it nominated nine people to the retailer’s 12-person board.

Now, the investors are calling on Kohl’s to hire directors with retail experience. They also advise Kohl’s to consider a sale-leaseback of more than $7 billion of its real estate and to reduce inventory while improving offerings and discounts.

Kohl’s responded that it is already pursuing some of the proposed initiatives. Among them, the company has added six new independent directors since 2016. It has rejected some of the other proposed changes.

Kohl’s has been in discussions with the activist investors since early December.

Although Kohl’s have been hurt by the pandemic, its wounds pre-date it, as is the case for other department stores. On the plus side, its locations are not located in malls, which have seen foot traffic fall in recent years and especially during Covid.

[WSJ] — Sasha Jones