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(May 29, 2001) -- Kohl's Corp., which is preparing for a move into the West and Southwest over the next few years, today hired its first Hispanic agency of record, Vidal Partnership, New York.

Kohl's, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., has 354 stores in 28 states but plans to move into El Paso, Texas, in August, and then Los Angeles and the Southwest in 2002 and 2003.

The moderate-priced retailer, which has won the heart of Wall Street, sells brand name products and has a selling floor designed in the shape of a racetrack-like oval. In May,Kohl's reported sales of 5.3% at stores open more than one year and overall profits up 43%.

Kohl's is the latest retailer to respond to 2000 U.S. Census data documenting the rise in the nation's Hispanic population. Earlier this year, Kmart Corp. buffeted its multicultural marketing efforts by expanding duties at True North Communication's Don Coleman Advertising.

Vidal will be responsible for creative, media planning and buying. It also will assist on public relations for marketing and community relations directives, the retailer said in a statement. Kohl's agency of record for general creative is Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson, New York. -- Alice Z. Cuneo

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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