Billtrust - Working Capital Tracker - September 2023

Kohl’s Expands Storefront to Engage Shoppers in Holiday Purchases

Kohl's

As Amazon and Walmart engaged in a checkout showdown throughout October in the holiday shopping race, Kohl’s is looking to distinguish itself and ensure customer loyalty in the upcoming month. 

To achieve this, Kohl’s has expanded its retail space at the front of the store, specifically allocated for seasonal items like gifts and festive home decor. Furthermore, the retailer has launched a fresh gift shop in the store’s entrance and assembled a diverse array of gift options throughout all of its branches. Kohl’s has also unveiled a holiday gift guide featuring present suggestions spanning various price ranges and product categories, encompassing apparel, electronics, toys and home goods, the company said in a Thursday (Oct. 19) press release

“We’ve curated an incredible holiday assortment across all of our key categories, to bring the newest and latest styles, products and brands to our customers, at prices they will feel good about,” said Nick Jones, Kohl’s chief merchandising and digital officer in a statement. “Whether it’s styling your home with the latest holiday decor, picking up a beautiful knit sweater for a friend, or buying a new cookware set to make memories in the kitchen with your kids, we’re confident Kohl’s has everything shoppers are looking for this season.” 

This year, the retailer is also reintroducing its “Bricktober” event, Black Friday week and Cyber Monday sales in November, and the extension of holiday deals throughout December. On the flip side, other retailers such as Walmart, Target, Amazon and Best Buy have kicked off their holiday sales as soon as October rolled around. 

The department store has expanded its product lineup, showcasing a wide array of items predominantly priced below $30, including home decor, cold-weather accessories and jewelry. 

In addition to curating its in-store gift selections, the retailer is actively gearing up to hire extra store associates for the upcoming holiday shopping season, which is traditionally the busiest time of the year. In fact, Kohl’s just hosted a recruitment event in October covering not only its retail stores but also eCommerce fulfillment centers and distribution centers.  

These moves fall in line with Kohl’s ongoing efforts to diversify its revenue streams. According to a PYMNTS report from August, Kohl’s faced a 4.8% dip in net sales and a 5% decline in comparable sales in the second quarter. Intriguingly, their in-store sales segment defied the odds, staying steady in comparison to the previous year. 

The retailer also disclosed an impressive almost 90% year-over-year (YoY) increase in sales for their entire range of beauty products. The driving force behind this surge was its shop-in-shop experience with Sephora, which led to a growth of over 20% in comparable beauty sales. This growth was particularly prominent in the support shops that were established in 2021 and 2022. 

“We feel good about our overall assortment,” said Kohl’s CEO Tom Kingsbury at the time of the company’s second-quarter earnings call in August. “It’s bringing in a younger, more diverse consumer.” 

Nonetheless, in order to sustain this positive momentum, Kohl’s has emphasized its commitment to elevating the customer experience. They intend to achieve this by enhancing their product offerings and merchandising strategies, both in their brick-and-mortar stores and online, with the aim of fostering long-term growth.  

In pursuit of these goals, Kohl’s has identified opportunities for refining its core business offerings, with a specific focus on the significance of Sephora, promoting impulse purchases, elevating their home decor offerings, and expanding their store footprint to drive substantial growth in the coming years.