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Kohl's is an American department store retail chain, operated by Kohl's Corporation. With 1,158 locations, it is the largest department store chain in the United States as of February 2013. The company was founded by a Polish immigrant Maxwell Kohl, who opened a corner grocery store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1927. Branching out from its successful grocery store chain, the company opened its first department store in 1962. British American Tobacco Company took a controlling interest in the company in 1972 while still managed by the Kohl Family, and in 1979, the corporation was sold to BATUS Inc. A group of investors purchased the company in 1986 from British American Tobacco and took it public in 1992. The company is headquartered in the Milwaukee suburb of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, operating stores in every U.S. state except Hawaii. Kohl's became the largest department store chain in the United States in May 2012, surpassing its biggest competitor J. C. Penney.