Sloane & Co. represents an investor group that seeks to gain control of Kohl’s Corp. department store chain with 1,100 outlets in 49 states.

Macellum Advisors, Ancora Holdings, Legion Partners Asset Management and 4010 Capital LLC, which own a combined 9.5 percent stake in Kohl’s, plan to nominate nine directors to the 12-member board at the 2021 annual meeting.

They say “poor retail strategy and execution” have led to stagnant sales, declining operating margins, a 44 percent slide in operating profits from 2011 to 2019 and a chronically underperforming stock price.

The investors also see an opportunity to “unlock” $7-8B of real estate value “trapped” in the Menomonee Falls-WI-based company’s balance sheet.

Kohl’s maintains its strategic plan announced in October 2020 will accelerate growth and profitability.

The retailer rejects the investor group’s “attempt to seize control of our board and disrupt our momentum” but is willing to engage with it to identify new ideas to enhance shareholder value.

Kohl’s suffered a $12M loss on $4B in revenues for the third quarter ended October. It earned $123M on $4.6B sales for the year-earlier quarter.

SKDKnickerbocker owns Sloane & Co, which has Dan Zacchei and Joe Germani handling the investor group.

Edelman’s Lex Suvanto represents Kohl’s.