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NEW YORK CITY-Seeking to increase the amount of cross-department shopping by its customers, Kohl’s Corp. will expand its in-house brands and is renovating its stores to better showcase items, its CFO said at the 27th Annual Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference held here.

Some 60% of Kohl’s shoppers buy in just one section in a visit, said Wesley S. McDonald, executive VP and CFO, a trend the chain is trying to change.

“We’re designing our stores for easier shopping to create the total store shopper. We want every customer, every department every time,” McDonald said. This is being encouraged by the expansion of a number of its in-house brands such as into new merchandise, as well as the introduction of new brands Vera Wang and Food TV.

The Menomonee Falls, WI-based chain completed the remodel of 29 stores in the first quarter, and will now assess the results. Plans call for renovating 55 stores next year, and then “ramping up” the remodelings over the next three to four years.

“Our goal is to remodel each store every eight or nine years,” McDonald said.

Earlier in the day, the company reported that May sales rose 18.5%, compared with May 2006, with comparable store sales up 10.5%. Year-to-date sales, covering 17 weeks, are up 13.4% over the same period last year, with comps up 5.5%.

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