Apple is adding loyalty cards from top retailers to its Apple Pay mobile payments system and has changed the name of Passbook to "Wallet." In addition to linking debit and credit cards to Apple Pay accounts, users can now also include store credit cards from companies like Kohl's, J.C. Penney and BJ's as well as…
For many years, Kohl's has struggled with its merchandise assortment. Until recently, management emphasized private labels like Sonoma and Croft & Barrow and Jumping Beans. Now Kohl's is moving away from private brands toward national brands like Nike, Adidas, Keds, Levi, Juicy Couture and Izod, Elie Tahari for DesigNation, Elle, Gloria Vanderbilt, Disney, Arrow, Dockers, Carters and many others. The emphasis on exclusive lines such as Vera Wang, Jennifer Lopez, Dana Buchman and others will continue.
Retailers push for ever-earlier shopping on Thanksgiving Day continues. Joining the still-swelling wave, Kohl's said Thursday that its stores will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, two hours earlier than last year. That puts the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based chain on even footing with Macy's, which already announced a 6 p.m. start to the pre-Black Friday shopping extravaganza. Macy's opened at 8 p.m. last year. Other big retailers such as Target and Sears have yet to disclose their plans, but Anne Brouwer, senior partner with Chicago retail consultant McMillanDoolittle, said she expects more announcements of openings at 6, or earlier.
On Monday, Kohl's unveiled Yes2You Rewards nationwide-a brand-new engaging loyalty program developed to further-connect with each customer and enhance their shopping experience in stores and online. The leading retailer has tested several different methods of the program for the past two years, with over 10 million members signing up just during the trial period-proving to Kohl's that the newly-launched program should be a success among customers. The
Kohl's CEO Kevin Mansell has stated that he intends to turn the company into the most engaging retailer in the nation. Even though the nationwide department store chain remains very profitable, Kohl's will face an uphill climb before it can claim the title of "most engaging retailer in the nation." Despite a seemingly impressive 2013 sales number, the retailer's sales were actually down 1.3 percent from the year earlier. Kohl's and other big-box retailers are having to come to terms with rapidly changing technology as well as the resulting changes in the shopping habits of American consumers.
As to be expected at events in any industry, executives at the National Retail Federation's Big Show earlier this month lapsed into lazy talk, bandying about vague notions such as "customer-centric solutions," while ticking off hot retail buzz terms like "personalization" and "omnichannel selling" without always delivering concrete examples of what those terms will mean in 2014. But along with the nebulousness came some meaty insight on what's poised to revolutionize how retailers serve shoppers: big data. IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty did a good job of demystifyng the concept.
Kohl's, which is now without a chief marketer, plans to make major changes to its marketing strategy in the coming year to reach a broader base of customers. Kohl's CEO Kevin Mansell explained during the company's most recent earnings call that through its efforts to improve efficiency, marketing came under scrutiny — but the retailer isn't slashing ad spending. It does plan to shift its spending, significantly increasing TV and digital investment, while focusing on targeting moms, particularly in the 35- to 54-year-old age group.
Black Friday, traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year, is nearing. Big-box stores are going to have to deal with “showrooming” — i.e., when in-store shoppers use their smartphones to identify cheaper deals online and then make their purchases elsewhere. What can retailers do to offset the effect of showrooming during Black Friday?"
Low prices: That's what's going to get registers ringing this holiday season at Kohl's, which is clawing its way out of a business slump. So said Kevin Mansell, CEO of the 1,134-unit department store chain, at Goldman Sachs' retail conference on Thursday. His comments come a day after the CFO of competitor Target delivered the opposite message at the investor conference, vowing not to partake in the price wars during the Christmas shopping season.
With J.C. Penney’s new pricing structure echoing that of Wal-Mart’s EDLP model, the most recent Retail Ratings Reports from BIGinsight indicates both retailers could face challenges when it comes to the women’s clothing category. For years Wal-Mart has led Kohl’s in the category, however, in November of 2011 Kohl’s surpassed the discounter and the two have been tangling for the top position ever since.