Kohl's is to open an e-commerce distribution centre in Indiana in the US, as part of plans by the department store retailer to maximise omni-channel fulfilment.

The 937,000sq ft Plainfield-based facility will open in the summer of 2017 and is expected to enhance the company's ability to fulfill its online purchases and better serve its customers nationwide.

"Our investment in a new e-commerce fulfillment centre is one of the many ways we are supporting omni-channel fulfillment," says Sona Chawla, Kohl's chief operating officer. "This is in addition to our capability to ship merchandise from our entire network of more than 1,100 Kohl's stores nationwide and the option for customers to buy online and pick up their purchase at their local Kohl's store, two initiatives that came to life last year."

The facility will be the fifth dedicated to Kohl's online and the 14th for the group across the US. 

In its fourth quarter, the retailer revealed it will close 18 underperforming stores this year after reporting a 20% decline in net profit as promotional activity undermined margins. Net income amounted to US$296m for the three months, compared to $369m in the same period a year ago. Sales edged up 0.8% to $6.39bn from $6.34bn last year, with comparable store sales climbing 0.4%.

The store closures, which represent less than 1% of total sales, are expected to save the company $45-55m. The company also said it planned to pilot a new smaller format Kohl's store, add two extra Off-Aisle pilot stores, and open 12 Fila outlet stores, which will mark the group's first entry into the outlet space.