The Kohls Corporation is an American department store retailing chain. The first Kohls store was a corner grocery store opened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1927 by Maxwell Kohl. The companys first department store opened in September 1962. British American Tobacco Company took a controlling interest in the company in 1972, and in 1979, the Kohl family left the management of the company. A group of investors purchased the company in 1986 from British-American Tobacco and took it public in 1992. Kohls is the second-largest department store by retail sales in the United States.