How Kohl's is Surviving Retail Disruptions - Free Paper Sample

Published: 2023-12-19
How Kohl's is Surviving Retail Disruptions - Free Paper Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Economics Amazon
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1073 words
9 min read

Kohl's is a departmental store in the U.S. that is now surviving retail disruptions caused by the Coronavirus disruptions. However, the department store has reported a drop in sales for the first quarter of 2020 by 44% (Ferris, 2020). Similarly, the store's share has also dropped, reaching the lowest $10.87 on April 3, from $59.28 attained on November 15 (Ferris, 2020). Most department stores are closing down after the pandemic, but Kohl is faring better. The survival is associated with various management strategies, such as a store-within-a-store pilot program with WW. The company leases its space to Planet Fitness and Aldi to create a walled-off store within their entrances (Ferris, 2020). Another program involves allowing Amazon customers to return items to their stores for fast and convenient refunds. Management aims to turn Amazon customers into Kohl's shoppers.

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Significant micro-economic factors impacting Kohl's are competitors and customers. Kohl's is operating in a competitive industry with stiff rivalry. Some major department stores competing with Kohl's include Stage Stores, Nieman Marcus, J.C. Penny, Lord & Taylor, and Macy’s (Ferris, 2020). There is a worry of competition from other businesses in the long term who offer similar services as Kohl's. Most customers are currently hunkered down at home and have low purchasing power, which informs the drop in sales. The major macroeconomic environmental factors for Kohl's are economy, technology, and globalization. The economy is declining because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to lockdowns and turned many people unemployed. The high employment rate is affecting the sales of Kohls. Most of Kohl's competitors have even closed due to an economic crisis. The retail industry is experiencing rapid technological changes, and e-commerce is becoming a trend to promote globalization.

Many departmental stores are closing, and others are struggling to survive. Competitors such as Nieman Marcus, J.C Penny, and Stage Stores have filed for bankruptcy protection, and Lord & Taylor is expected to liquidate (Ferris, 2020). The closing of key players in the department store retail market presents Kohl's opportunity to increase its market. The technology is rapidly changing, and it presents an opportunity for Kohl to quickly adopt the technology in its operations to be competitive and gain more customers not only in the U.S. but also across the globe. The current trends of the departmental store closing, technological advancements, and demand for Amazon product refunds present Kohl's opportunity to gain more customers and have a competitive advantage.

Apart from the current strategies and programs (pilot program with WW, leasing out some space, and refunds for Amazon customers) taken by Kohl's, various possible strategies can facilitate its survival and gain more customers. Lord & Taylor's departmental store is expected to liquidate (Ferris, 2020). The retailer had customers who would have to search for a new departmental store to shop. One alternative action for Kohl's could be opening new branches in places where Lord & Taylor had stores to retain customers. The second alternative for Kohl could be adopting virtual stores and shifting to selling online instead of physical stores, which require rent and are limited to a specific location. The act of Amazon customers returning items for refunds shows that there is a need to offer quality products (Ferris, 2020). Kohl's, thus, brands itself as a retailer that offers quality items. The branding will attract Amazon and other retailers' customers who value quality rather than product costs.

I recommend that Kohl's departmental store adopt virtual stores and sell using the internet rather than concentrating only on physical locations. It can retain some physical stores in several places to facilitate the return of items in case customers complain. Technology in the retail industry is rapidly changing, and soon physical stores will be outdated fashion. Selling over the Internet will enable the retailer to acquire new markets and increase sales (MartĂ­nez-Navarro et al., 2019). Also, most of Kohl's will retain small inventories or adopt just-in-time (JIT) inventory purchasing. The JIT approach will save space, which can be rented to earn the company income. Also, the rented places will no longer be needed and save rent costs. Virtual stores will facilitate the company to go global by selling beyond U.S. boundaries. It is a tactic to survive by serving customers at their comfort places who will order items with their laptops or phones and wait for delivery (Abd Al Rahman & Aeedan, 2019). The world is going digital, and the digitalization of Kohl's operations is the best choice.

The short-term result of going digital will be an increase in sales. Kohl's will attract new customers, especially from Amazon. Amazon customers return items in Kohl's stores, which makes them have trust in the company. As Amazon sells online, Kohl's selling online will enable more Amazon customers to shop at Kohl's virtual store because of the presence of refund stores in several regions. The long-term results will be spread of the company to international markets. The Internet is a platform whereby information is shared beyond physical boundaries (MartĂ­nez-Navarro et al., 2019). Kohl's will be recognized globally and acquire customers from any part of the world.

From Kohl's, I have learned that what seems a threat can be turned into opportunities. For instance, rapid technological changes could be a threat to retailers; however, a quick adaption of technology is an opportunity to remain competitive. It is also important for businesses to always be ready to change their strategies for them to survive and be successful. Most of the retailers are struggling because of resisting to adopt change. Most customers do not travel to shopping malls for shopping because of having busy schedules and thus prefer ordering items over the Internet (Topno, 2019). Keeping physical stores is currently becoming outdated and virtual stores are on-trend.


Abd Al Rhaman, A. F. Y., & Aeedan, A. K. A. (2019). Requirements Implementation of Just in Time (JIT) and its impact on the competitive advantages A prospective research in a group of Russian furniture industry. Journal of Administration and Economics, (121).

Ferris, R. (2020). How Kohl's is surviving retail disruption. CNBC.

Martínez-Navarro, J., Bigné, E., Guixeres, J., Alcañiz, M., & Torrecilla, C. (2019). The influence of virtual reality in e-commerce. Journal of Business Research, 100, 475-482.

Topno, N. (2019). Globalization Impact on the International Business Development: The Tata Motors Case.

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