Few companies are as transparent about their plans as Kohl’s is this year. By going public about its plans, Kohl’s is inviting customers to plan their shopping with Kohl’s in mind. It is more open than in previous years, and while it does give competitors a glimpse into what management is planning, I think it is a great example for other retailers to follow. I like what it says about a focus on serving the customer.

The company will open its stores on Black Friday (Friday November 27) at 5 am with all the precautions necessary during a pandemic period in place. This includes masks for associates and customers, social distancing guidelines, cleansing of bathrooms and other highly frequented locations, and contactless pay options through Kohl’s-Pay, etc. (Like many other major retailers, the stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day but internet orders will be accepted.)


Virus Outbreak Unemployment Overload


The company will feature new brands this season, including Lands’ End which was featured in Sears stores in past years. It has also launched Lauren Conrad Beauty. In addition, it will have an expanded toy department in all stores that includes all the latest toys in such popular categories as preschool toys, dolls, action figures, arts & crafts, and learning toys.

Kohl’s is going beyond new merchandise offerings and has restructured its e-commerce platform in hopes of attracting more customers to shop there. During the pandemic caused by COVID-19, many customers shifted more of their shopping to the internet platform. They are looking for deals everywhere and now can find them more easily at kohls.com. Kohl’s ability to accept Amazon returns is another strength at this time, since customers are likely to shop for something from Kohl’s when they bring in a return.

I also feel there is a shift to adding new brands at Kohl’s as part of a longer-term strategy. Next year, the company will introduce FLEX; it is a private brand of athletic wear for men and women. It will also introduce the Cole Haan footwear brand in the Spring in several stores. These actions are a clear indication that current merchandise assortments are under review and that there will be a new, younger look going forward as the company makes changes to focus more on brands in demand. Obviously, the company wants to appeal to the Millennial and GenZ customers who can bring more momentum to the company both today and into the future.

I think that CEO Michelle Gass is looking at her company with a new point of view. She is trying to give customers a new, better experience that enables them to find the best choices and shop with ease. The stores already have curb-side pickup of orders and touchless Kohl-Pay provisions. With the decision to add new brands and refresh the website, I think the company is ready for a bright future.