Kohl's is ramping up its base of name-brand offerings by signing on Aldo to design a footwear line for the value-based chain (hopefully featuring pairs like this one, currently for sale on Aldo's website), set to hit stores and online in Spring 2011.
Kohl's already works with several other major brands and designers to produce exclusive items, typically at lower prices, including names like Lauren Conrad and Vera Wang, which -- according to WWD's report -- comprised upwards of 47 percent of sales for the mega-chain in the first quarter of 2010. Adding a recognized brand like Aldo to that mix would increase the offerings in that arena, as well as bolster Kohl's footwear offerings -- never a bad thing for pretty much any store. Of course, Aldo really doesn't seem to have the kind of upscale cache or celebrity appeal that, say, Vera Wang does, but it is a visible brand name, and that perhaps was more important to Kohl's in terms of expansion.
Of course Kohl's main competition in the designer game right now is JCPenney, which has been seriously ramping up its efforts to secure designer deals in the past year, signing on serious talent from the Olsen twins to Madonna herself to design for the brand (adding to its already expansive offerings from folks like Charlotte Ronson). Kohl's has some catching up to do in this arena, but it seems ot be pushing forward with some intensity.