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Kohl’s Holiday Look Heralds Its Turnaround Plan

New CEO leads charge to bring layout, merchandise shifts to year-end shopping.




Kohl’s Holiday Look Heralds Its Turnaround Plan
PHOTOGRAPHY: Sundry Photography/Shutterstock

Shoppers visiting the stores of Kohl’s (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) this holiday season will see layout and merchandising strategies offering a glimpse of the retailer’s future, reports. Those changes reflect initiatives undertaken by Kohl’s new CEO, Tom Kingsbury, who previously led off-price chain Burlington Stores and is taking the department store chain through his first holiday shopping season there.

Kohl’s is gearing up for a season for which consumers have sent conflicting messages about how much they’re willing to spend and what they think is worth buying, even as some tighten their belts. At a tour of one of its department stores in Ramsey, N.J., earlier this week, even Christmas decor and fall sweaters were up to half off — an indicator that the retailer is trying to move merchandise and appeal to more budget-minded customers, reported.

Here are some of the major strategies that Kohl’s is leaning into this holiday season and beyond:

  • Beauty is one of the few discretionary categories where shoppers have been splurging despite inflation. Kohl’s has leaned in by opening more Sephora shops in its stores.
  • As shoppers rush around during the peak shopping season, Kohl’s wants to tempt them to grab one — or ideally, two or three — more things. To encourage that, the retailer has removed some cash registers to make room for impulse items and stocking stuffers, such as candies, small toys and stuffed animals.
  • The demise of bankrupt Bed Bath & Beyond stores has created room for retailers, including Kohl’s, to grab more market share in the space, so it has added more merchandise along those lines. Kohl’s is also on the list of retailers trying to cash in on the pandemic pet boom by dedicating more square footage to dog beds, cat towers and other pet items that get replenished more frequently, such as treats and shampoo.

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