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WWD Retail 2030 - The New Store Experience

Kohl's is evolving its product portfolio in store and online to excite existing customers while attracting new and younger shoppers - notably the millennial mom.

Since joining Kohl's in 2018, Doug Howe is focused on refreshing the product assortment and thinking differently about digital brands to better court the millennial family. As part of the larger strategy, dubbed "The Greatness Agenda," Howe has minimized choice count and cut unpopular products, providing a more curated shopping experience that encourages brand discovery. Kohl's is dialing up newness with a strong pipeline of new brands and partnerships this year, bringing in Nine West and working with the Property Brothers on an exclusive home line. New brands combine innovation with accessibility, including trend-forward PopSugar and EVRI elevated plus-size fashion. Kohl's has also become a go-to store for active and athleisure for the family from brands like Under Armour, Nike and Fitbit.

To thrive as a best-in-class omnichannel retailer, Kohl's is accelerating its growth in digital, while capitalizing on its store footprint by disrupting traditional notions of what a big box store can offer. In a particularly savvy move, it has partnered with Amazon to run a return program in roughly 100 stores, incentivizing shoppers with free returns as well as discounts. Kohl's also plans to rightsize approximately a dozen stores - or shrink the original footprint to lease or sell the remaining, underutilized square footage to well-capitalized companies that drive traffic. Tapping into the growing wellness movement, Kohl's has teamed up with WW (formerly Weight Watchers) to pilot the first WW Studio in one of its rightsized stores and given space to the Aldi grocery chain in select stores to drive foot traffic.

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