Essay Sample on Kohl's Corporation: America's Largest Department Store Chain

Paper Type:  Report
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1844 Words
Date:  2023-04-08


The company explored in this analysis is Kohl's Corporation, an American departmental store chain with its headquarters in Milwaukee suburb of Menominee Wisconsin. The company has over 1 089 department stores in 49 states in the US. The company is listed in the Fortune 500. In terms of sales, Kohl's is the largest department store in the US as of 2013. The company engages in the sales of numerous commodities from homewares, jewellery, furniture, footwear, beddings, decor, toys, electronics, among other things. The company has a presence online where it offers its customers the option of purchasing products online. The company prides in providing its customers' products they need in an environment they feel safe and friendly. Moreover, private and exclusive brands are provided by the company.

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The company has a sales mix of nine per cent e-commerce and ninety-one per cent of stores. The company competes in one of the toughest industries to compete in. Despite the company making aggressive expansion moves in both Western and Southern parts of the US, most of its departmental stores are located in the Midwest. The company targets middle-class customers with a wide range of products. Kohl's corporation has had a bad streak in recent years experiencing fluctuation of the stock prices. In this industry, Kohl's face competition from companies such as J.C Penney, Target corporation, and TJX Companies. Despite the company making attempts to ensure it returns to the mainstream, it struggles from the following areas: ageing appearance, oversized stores, digital presence and financial liabilities.

Financial Liabilities and Revenues

The reasons why Kohl's has a continuous falling trend in sales is due to the rise of other shopping platforms such as online shopping, Kohl's brand reputation, and increased competition. A detailed description as to why sales of the company dropped drastically in 2018, about 3.4% in the first business quarter, which is regarded as the worst showing is provided by Romell (2009). Moreover, there was a 2.9% drop in sales, and the net income was also low. Furthermore, the company has resorted to debts which are increasing its liabilities. According to Romell (2009), the company's debt levels increased to the US $6.0b from the US $4.0b in within twelve months.

Digital Presence

The trend in this technological era is online presence and businesses. However, Kohl's has neglected its digital appearance with its digital existence seemingly non-existent. Kohl's brand continues to struggle because digital retailing is on the rise while the company does not pay much attention to its online presence. According to Sinclair (2017), neglect to digital sites makes the company trail at 16% in online presence penetration. He further compares Kohls to Nordstorm, which penetrates the digital world by about 23% (Sinclair, 2017). The belief Sinclair holds is that if Kohl's followed in the footsteps of Nordstorm in regards to e-commerce, it would increase its sales and brand recognition significantly.

Oversized Stores

The wide range of merchandise that Kohl's deal in requires a sizeable spacious property. In recent years, online has been the norm in the business world as they can easily find what they need since they do not have the patience to go out wandering in stores. This new trend is severely harming the retail brand. Research has established that about 51% of purchases are made online (Farber, 2016). This follows as there is no crowd associated with this type of investment, it is convenient and has no distractions (Ross, 2016). Therefore, large stores such as the ones held by Kohl's presents all these factors mentioned. Customers prefer to task someone else to get what they need through online service. Therefore, Kohl's is losing due to these factors.

Description of Key Sources of Problem Areas

The challenges associated with Kohl's emanate from specific sources which act as an impediment to the success of the company. The most significant source of problem areas for the company is the changing trends in business. In recent years, businesses have had to conform to the changing landscape in industry or become extinct. Currently, e-commerce has influenced the way people make their purchases. Most people prefer purchasing their products online from the comfort of their homes without any challenges associated with overcrowding and spending more time looking for products in retail stores that are usually very big. Sometimes they leave these departmental stores without getting took them there. Evolution of technology is also another critical area for the company's problem areas.

The evolution of technology has changed the game in the business world with businesses increasing their presence online, thereby edging out companies that have not taken full advantage of the platform such as Kohls. The increased technology dependency has enabled for creativity, thus introducing online stores where companies have opened websites where customers can comfortably make purchases. Another source of problems for the company is the shift in consumers spending habits in the retail industry and not the corporate shake-ups as reported in some quarters. In December of 2016, the company and other retail stores experienced a drop by 2.1% in holiday sales. The shift in spending habits is due to the trust that consumers put in the stores they shop at, and currently, the belief has shifted to departmental stores like Amazon. These factors are causing a severe drop in the sales and revenues of Kohl's corporation and diminishing its position in the industry.


There are several areas that the company can make alterations to enhance its improvement hence meeting the needs of the customers as well as those of the company. The company must take a step back to strategize and evaluate its strengths and weakness to position itself as a leader in the retail industry. Moreover, there are techniques that the company may employ to get rid of its dilemma. Some of the critical areas that the company could make alterations to establish itself include social, sustainable practices, technology and practices that attract customers. Moreover, there are specific objectives in every category that the company can enhance success (Lindner, 2017).

In regards to technological development, the company could use anti-fraud tools and e-commerce to help it re-establish itself and increase its online presence. In regards to sustainability development, the company could use durable recycled textile materials and the use of QR codes to gather data. In the social media aspect, the company could employ the services of bloggers to help promote the image of the company. The company should consider furthering mobile payment technology through the incorporation of Hointer. The components above have the potential to help the company break the struggles it is experiencing, thereby increasing its sales and profit levels.

Technology is continually evolving; hence businesses must keep up with the pace at which it is moving to utilize the primary benefits it offers. The evolution of e-gifting is the innovative fist technology that Kohl's should embrace. The ability to gift people without necessarily going to the actual store. E-gift cards are another aspect that allows customers to send gift cards via the internet. The gift card code is all that is needed by the recipient on the other end to make their purchases. The online version of the card is sent via email since all the transactions are done online.

Gifting game has been changed by the services of Macy's gifting services by enabling the recipient to have a direct say on what they receive. The shopper virtually sends the products as a gift through the typical online gifting. Moreover, Macy's enables the recipient to make alterations to the bonus before it is sent. Before the contributions are submitted, the recipient gets the chance to make alterations since an email is sent to them. The modification also enables the recipient to change the email before it is sent.

Most companies are gearing towards enhancing sustainability. Sustainability has many practices that organizations undertake intending to preserve the environment. The use of a quick response code system is a sustainable practice that Kohl's company should implement. The fact that digital innovations assist customers while not harming the environment makes this innovation favoured. Moreover, such changes make customers more motivated to make purchases as they are aware that they are sustainable. In the business world, marketing and promotions heavily rely on social media as it is the largest platform as it is trendy in this generation. It will be significant for Kohl's corporation to use the social media platform to increase sales and promote its brand. Customers are enabled to make purchases directly within each app through utilizing Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. These apps are very convenient for customers to make purchases. Research shows that customers often browse social media to find new products in the market.

Promotion through employing bloggers is an effective way of promoting a company. This could prove useful considering that bloggers have a large pool of followers. This may increase the desire among fans to purchase the company products. Moreover, in today's world, bloggers are highly favoured especially in the fashion world. Additionally, bloggers have a big say with a following that is ready to listen to them, and an endorsement from them would go a long way in promoting the company. Social media platforms enable organizations to connect with their customers.

Hointer is a unique retail store technology that would help Kohl's improve its situation. Hointer can merge digital tactics within digital stores, thereby giving the customers a fantastic shopping experience. Through Hointer, customers can pick out items on a digital screen and scan the products that are displayed and purchase them instantly. Hointer acts as the showroom for customers. Once the customer chooses the product they desire, the picked product gets picked in the microwave house, which is at the back of the house. The customers' basket is pulled up and ready to go once the customer selects the products they desire. When it comes to time management and simplicity, Hointer is efficient as it offers quick and effortless shopping experience.


In conclusion, numerous statistics have been displayed to show that Kohl's corporation is fluctuating. There have been severe hardships experienced throughout the company. Kohl's is a promising company and has the potential to succeed in the industry as a retailer. The recommendations above have the capability of enabling Kohl's emerge as a giant in the retail sector. The recommendations will allow the company to pull out of the downhill spiral it is experiencing. Statistics and all indicators point towards lack of a robust online presence. The company does not have a robust online presence which is affecting the company negatively. Moreover, the current trends in business rely on technology; hence the company needs to strategize effectively and increase its presence on social media and other online platforms.

Customers in this generation make most of their purchases online; hence it should try to be competitive like its rivals in the industry by creating robust e-commerce. Coming up with ways of reducing financial liabilities is another way that would enhance profitability. Meeting the current trends in retail business would prove useful. The company can increase sales revenue through expanding partnership with brands that have an online presence and launching new site formats co...

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Essay Sample on Kohl's Corporation: America's Largest Department Store Chain. (2023, Apr 08). Retrieved from

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