The four stores, one in New Jersey and three in Wisconsin that were opened as part of a test, will close on Aug. 3, a Kohl's spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business.
"We appreciate all we’ve learned during the Off/Aisle test about inventory management, operational efficiency, store experience and nimble, empowered store leadership. We also learned that our strength and ongoing improvements in inventory management across the company does not allow us to appropriately stock Off/Aisle stores at scale," the spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement early Wednesday. "We thank all of the associates who did a tremendous job with the Off/Aisle test. All associates from the Off/Aisle locations will have the opportunity to retain employment at nearby Kohl’s locations."
Executive Vice President Jon Grosso echoed the same sentiment in a memo sent to employees Tuesday that stated the outlet stores were closing not because they were unpopular, but because there was not enough inventory to stock the shelves, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported.
"While we've learned a lot from the tests, we also learned that our strength and ongoing improvements in inventory management across the company do not allow us to appropriately stock Off/Aisle stores at scale," wrote Gross in the memo, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The retailer launched the discount outlet stores in 2015 as an experiment to compete with other off-price retail companies such as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. The goal was to sell items customers had returned to regular Kohl’s stores at a discounted price.
The announcement comes as more than 4,800 U.S. stores — including icons such as J.C. Penney, Dressbarn, among others — are set to close by the end of this year. Several retailers admitted they're seeing struggling sales amid the rise of e-commerce.