Kohl's partnerships with major brands like Sephora, Lego and others have increased foot traffic in stores which Gass explained drives relevancy and widens the department store's demographic.
"We’ve been on a mission to really evolve and… transform the customer experience," she said. "Take everything that’s been great about Kohl's for years – we have phenomenal private brands like Sonoma, Croft & Barrow and the like – but also to bring more relevancy with new brands and new partnerships."
Gass mentioned Kohl's partnership with Amazon which has allowed customers to make returns and exchanges in-store, furthermore driving those relevancy and traffic factors.
"Partnerships, I think, is a hallmark of a company and innovation as well," she said. "So we are in this major drive to, as I said, transform our business into much more of a lifestyle concept."
According to Gass, Kohl's is investing largely in active brands, as well as other differentiating names to detach from its "semi-department store" stigma.
The Kohl's-Amazon fusion has been beneficial for both companies, Gass explained, with Amazon’s large customer outreach and Kohl's stores being in close proximity to a wide majority of Americans being a perfect balance.
"It’s brought us traffic, it’s brought us new and younger customers," she said. "Those customers are converting and buying Kohl's product, in fact, convergent is up year-on-year. So we feel really good about the partnership and I think they would say the same thing and together we have world-class customer engagement scores. So it’s working."
Kohl's newest partnership with Sephora launching Friday will debut more than 70 stores with access to the beauty retailer, with a goal of bumping the number up to 800 stores by the end of the year.
Kohl's hit record second-quarter earnings per share and revenue as the stock was up nearly 7% on Thursday.