The former Kmart store will soon be open for business - this time with Kohl's taking a space of the large business in the section near the Cato's store.
With about 1,200 locations, it is the largest department store chain in the United States and will be opening its newest location in the old Kmart building.
The announcement was made Monday evening by Paula Thompson, executive director of the London-Laurel Industrial Development Authority, Judge-Executive David Westerfield and Mayor Troy Rudder.
“I began working to get Kohl’s to come to London in 2009,” Thompson said. “Our community needs a department-type store for affordable family clothing along with a wide selection.”
“We are very excited to welcome Kohl’s to our London business family,” Mayor Rudder said. “They bring with them a history of great service to their customers. Kohl’s and London will be a winning combination.”
That sentiment was echoed by many people seeing the announcement on the London - Laurel County Industrial Development Authority's Facebook page.
Local leaders heralded Thompson for her dedication to bringing new businesses and jobs into the community. Others were thrilled to hear of a new department store in the area. Some suggested other stores they would like to see in the future - TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Bath Body Works, Marshall's, Meijer, and other large chain stores.
Thompson is the industrial development recruiter for the city and county but has delved into the retail arena to bring additional businesses to the area. She formerly served as assistant director for several years before assuming the executive director position two years ago.
“We are pleased Kohl’s is coming to London,” Judge Westerfield said. “This will bring much-needed clothing options for families in Laurel County and surrounding counties who come here to work and shop.”
Kohl’s will be one of four new businesses located in the former Kmart building at the London Marketplace on Ky. 192. Planet Fitness has already been announced and the remaining two businesses will be announced at a later date.
Demolition is underway inside the building, and new entrances and facades will go up soon, with an early fall opening date, Thompson said.
Kohl’s will occupy 36,408 square feet of the 94,000 square feet Kmart building and Planet Fitness will occupy 22,306 square feet.
The department store placed advertisements for a London store manager and assistant managers on Indeed.com Monday evening.
Kohl’s is headquartered in the Milwaukee suburb of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, operating stores in every U.S. state except Hawaii. Kohl's became the largest department store chain in the United States in May 2012, surpassing its biggest competitor J.C. Penney. The company had $19 billion in revenue in 2017.