Draper James to Launch Collection in 500 Kohl's Stores
Draper James and Kohl's today announced the launch of Draper James RSVP in 500 Kohl’s stores nationwide and online at Kohls.com, reports Glossy. Beginning on Monday, the womenswear brand founded by Reese Witherspoon is selling a collection of over 100 pieces designed with and exclusively sold at Kohl’s. According to a press release, Draper James RSVP will be featured prominently in 500 Kohl’s stores, with an exclusive branded experience adjacent to the 300 Sephora at Kohl’s shops in an area that showcases new and seasonally relevant brands.
Total Retail's Take: For Kohl's, this announcement falls in line with its focus on brand partnerships. CEO Michelle Gass has leaned into a strategy to enhance the department store chain's brand portfolio, a notable example being its long-term store-in-store collaboration with Sephora, which it recently expanded. Kohl's also has relationships with national brands such as Eddie Bauer, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Lands’ End, and Cole Haan. “The Draper James RSVP store experience is the latest example of how Kohl’s is making its shopping experience more inspiring and destination-focused than ever before,” said Doug Howe, Kohl’s chief merchandising officer.
Draper James sees a lot to gain from its product launching in the brick-and-mortar chain as well. The nine-year-old brand has focused mainly on direct-to-consumer sales, opening only four of its own stores and selling wholesale only once in 2017 at Nordstrom. "Partnering with Kohl’s will boost the brand, but DTC and online sales will still be a big part of our growth," said CEO Erin Moennich.
As we've seen more often than not, digital-native brands are looking for that physical connection with loyal customers and often benefit from a strategic retail partnership rather than taking on the expense of opening their own store locations (or, in the case of Draper James, expanding its existing minimal physical footprint). "With our expansion into Kohl’s, we’re excited about the opportunity to bring Draper James’ unique Southern style to millions more customers nationwide,” said founder Reese Witherspoon.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Women in Retail Leadership Circle and sister brand Total Retail. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for both brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment recording interviews with retailers.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.