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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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