Kohl’s- 5 Suggestions For The Department Stores of America.

About a year and a half ago I went with my mother to our neighborhood Kohl’s.  Considering it is literally the major anchor in the strip mall that literally lines the back of our neighborhood, and is not only a two minute drive it is also incredibly walkable so my mom frequents this spot.   We were searching for curtains, not the ones for the shower, but more the ones for windows, I have to specify you see because they were all thrown in together in the store displays:

Searching these displays really started to frustrate me as I watched my mom struggle with her one working arm.   This was her neighborhood shop, a place she had shown dedication to and supported for years; and they couldn’t even have the decency to make the store shoppable for her?

Giving up on the curtain front we decided to look at clothes for the girls; which was ofcourse met with:

A couple of outfits were found out of the chaos, before we moved on to find outfits for my brother’s upcoming wedding:

I don’t live near my mom, and it’s important to me that she is able to purchase what she needs without much strain or trouble to her shoulder.  Aside from being impossible to shop, loss prevention and inventory control has got to be a nightmare at this store, considering this is only taken on a Tuesday morning in October… not after some big Black Friday rush.

For those who have followed my blog for sometime understand my deep issues with messy merchandising, and this store pushed me enough over the edge that I followed through with my internal threats and sent an email with these pictures attached directly to the DM.  She was so kind…so apologetic.  She sent me a 50 dollar gift card and promised a visit.  She was aware of the situation, but had yet to discover a method to contain it.

Not all Kohl’s resemble this, I have been to some that look absolutely and impeccably maintained.  But when a Kohl’s is a disaster, it doesn’t half ass it.

I held these pictures so that on my next visit I could show you the aftermath of effective management.   Sadly, a year later, the store was in similar disarray.  A new Chief Marketing Officer is taking the reins, a position that has hung vacant since 2012.  CMO Greg Revelle will be stepping in and I’m excited for it because I’m incredibly impressed with his track record.  A degree from Princeton and his masters from Harvard, executive experience with Expedia, Auto Nation, and most recently Best Buy.

His goal is customer engagement obviously, and here are some things he, and several other large department big wigs, may already be considering this year:

  1.  New Displays:  Perhaps there needs a new fresh alternative of display units that do not allow for so much product to pile so high.  Get fun, get creative, get modern…get out of the same old rut.  Also every store and shop is modernizing, just look at Target, Kohl’s needs to join the face of the future of retail.
  2. Less Product: With less product comes less upkeep.   Kohls is working on dwindling down their store size, when they do this they should consider keeping only the most consistently sold merchandise and rely on the interwebs for the rest.   That is the true beauty behind omnichannel retail.
  3. Store Beautification Incentives:  “You’ll attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.”   Reward consistently well maintained stores, I do not know if something similar already exists, but it sounds like a pretty marvelous idea to me.  I know when I worked in retail there was far more exhaustive piles of corrective reports than employee excellence recognition piles…actually I don’t even think that was a thing.
  4. Revamp Training:  I seem to say this allot, but it’s because I believe in the power of effective training.  With technology now, it is so simple to keep training consistent across locations and up to date.  Just look at the training methods of Altar’d States.
  5. More Defined Districts:  Up the frequency of effective DM visits, which means perhaps hiring more DM’s to lessen store ratios to management member.   Rework the entire collection of corporate level processes and expectations.

Just a few ideas from my less qualified opinions.  I must admit I’m super excited to see what Revelle brings to the table!



Part of the #AtoZChallenge







23 thoughts on “Kohl’s- 5 Suggestions For The Department Stores of America.

  1. I have to say my store looks nothing like that one. Yes we do get messy however this year people are the absolute worst! They throw the clothes on the floor and all over the tables not including trashing all tables including everything hanging. And in case you haven’t heard, kohls does not allow the money to get more associates on the floor!! And they only will have one cashier at each register and 1 maybe 2 the most in each department. Those floor associates have to empty fitting rooms plus quickly fold, hang and put everything away including cleaning up the tables and racks and oh did I also mention they have to also jump on register to help ring customers out oh yeah plus they have to help customers not including answering calls in there department!! So tell me how can those associates possibly get the entire floor cleaned to look presentable when they are expected to do all of those jobs?? Oh yeah corporate doesn’t tell the public that they will only give each store a certain amount of payroll and how they want hours cut including only putting one cashier on each register and 1-2 people in each department. So while my store is one of the best ones but does get trashed by uncaring customers kohls corporate runs those employees to death and does not even pay any of them a living wage including the ones who are full time and worked there for 5-20yrs!! Customers are just horrible to the associates and don’t even realize it’s not the associates choices to not help or be available or to not clean but it’s the fault of kohls corporate! Kohls talks about how family is important however they have now turned to greed and care of only money and not the fact if you have more people on the floor to help customers and upkeep the floor that more customers will be happy and will come. Instead kohls corporate wants to keep money and work the associates to death while making customers angry at associates because they can’t help them because they are constantly on register, calls, customers etc. many people who have worked there for years have quit including new people who just started quit after a few weeks. Kohls corporate has now stated you are required to work every weekend without exception period!! If you do not do this then you will be fired!! So people never have a day off ever!! Corporate also took away paid sick time off and now makes associates use there paid vacation for sick time, they also took away paid vacation from part time employees and the ones who earned that paid vacation after being there for years corporate completely took it away from them!! So before anyone blames the associates on the floor for such mess start looking at the true reasons as to why it’s not getting cleaned. At one time Kohls was a phenomenal company to work for and took extremely good care of all of its employees. However the past couple years they are only looking out for themselves and not the employees who have built there business and who keep it running. Kohls doesn’t care about anyone except themselves and the greed of money!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like the Khols in a neighboring town. It’s always a mess and quite often packed. I love Khols but it has gotten a bit ridiculous as of late. It’s been about a year or so since we’ve shopped there and it’s their own fault for not keeping up with the store issues. For the amount of $$ spent there, you’d think they’d have a better handle on these issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. While I have never been to a Kohl’s store (not present in India), I have been to several budget supermarkets native to India. Unfortunately, the visuals are no different given the “budget” tag and bulk supply concept.

    I hope they can improve and provide a better shopping experience to their customers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yikes! What a mess. The area needs a major zoning (straightening)! What time of day did you go to that Kohl’s? If afternoon, more understandable than if it were at night or in the morning, when the associates there SHOULD have it straightened already. Even if in the afternoon, they should always have at least one associate there just to zone the area up so it is more shopable for customers.


    1. I agree they work a system of Kohl’s cash wish requires you to be a frequent and dedicated shopper to receive any sort of competitive pricing. Super smart to keep dedicated shopper, but difficult to convert new ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeesh. That would have me screaming for the door. I get flustered in shops that are in disarray. This isn’t the worst though – My local Primark had a sale on, and customers were literally viewing the clothes and then chucking them on the floor. I was nearly sick with what was happening. Luckily it wasn’t a regular occurence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ya, there was a Weekend at the Old Navy in my hometown where I swear the workers must have staged some sort of walk out. The store was trashed, no one was at the registers, and the customers were standing in the piles of merchandise staring at one another, “does anyone work here?!”


  6. That’s why I hate kohls, walmart century 21 because they all look like this I can’t help my daughter let alone get my wheelchai through the aisles

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my, I would be so irritated having to wade through such a mess just to see what’s available! How frustrating, especially for your mom! Our Kohls isn’t like this, but I have definitely noticed that the one near Rockford, IL where my family is, is always in disarray.

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ours is okay, but my problem with Kohl’s is that we are almost always getting hosed on the Kohl’s cash. My wife is always trying to get the right amount and combine them with discounts and almost every time we have gone there, we end up having to go customer service to fix it, then back to the cashier, and it is and endless fight to get all our discounts. Have you have a chance to address the Gordman’s situation? Sounds like they are declaring bankruptcy and losing all their stores.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg don’t get me started on Kohls cash. Coupons are the greatest time suck at the register and yes as with most companies that rely on the them to draw in their customers, they are never a simple process.

      Yes looks like Gordmans is definitely not only circling the drain but diving right through the pipes. There’s gonna be allot of that until retail finds its balance.

      I do hope they revisit the Kohls cash method.


      1. I really liked Gordman’s. They had XXXL t-shirts that actually fit me. I wonder how long they last. All I know is if they go down as fast as Circuit City, I won’t be seeing my local store soon.

        Liked by 1 person

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