Featuring in the Fortune 500 company listing in 2008, Kohl’s is a omnichannel retailer with over 1,100 stores. With a vision to empower families to lead fulfilled lives, Kohl’s offers great products, incredible savings and an seamless shopping experience at its stores, online at Kohls.com and on its mobile app.
Polish Jewish immigrant Maxwell Kohl, who operated grocery stores since 1927, opened a supermarket in 1946. After transforming Kohl’s Food Stores into the largest supermarket chain in Milwaukee, Wisconsin he opened a department store in Brookfield in 1962.
A decade later, British American Tobacco Company’s U.S. retail dvision, Batus Inc., purchased controlling interest in Kohl’s Corporation, which had fifty grocery stores, six department stores, three drug stores and three liquor stores. Allen and Herb Kohl stayed on as management although Herb left in seven years and became US Senator. Kohl’s Food Store were sold to A&P in 1983.
When A&P put it up for sale In 2003 to reduce debt, Chairman and CEO William S. Kellogg led a management buyout. Building on the forty department stores, the company added twenty-seven more stores over two years. In 1988, it acquired twenty-six locations from MainStreet, a department store chain in Chicago, Illinois.
Kohl’s began trading on New York Stock Exchange under the symbol KSS on May 19, 1992. The company sold its credit card division in 2006 to multinational investment bank and financial services holding company J.P. Morgan Chase for $1.5 billion. New York advertising and public relations agency DeVito-Verdi was hired to build the brand image with campaigns on national television, online and social media.
In 2015, the company opened its first test store of Off-Aisle, offering discounted merchandise on products that customers returned to Kohl’s. This division shut down in three years. In 2016, Kohl’s continued its growth trajectory by adding Capital One- backed private label Kohl’s Card to its app to create Kohl’s Pay — the first integrated mobile checkout solution for a retailer in the US, combining Kohl’s Card, Kohl’s Cash, Kohl’s Yes-2-You Rewards and Kohl’s coupons into a single QR Code Payment.
Currently, Kohl’s is helmed by CEO Michelle Gass who ”feels that she has gone through three leadership phases at the company: rescue, review, reimagine” per Forbes. The company is focusing on three things to drive growth. One, online sales with curb-side pickup; two, fine-tuning the rewards programme; three, focusing on product based on evolving consumer preferences. The era has also witnessed key collaborations, such as a deal with Amazon where Kohl’s accepts returns for the e-commerce giant. And an alliance with Lands’ End, through which its casual wear will be available in a few stores.
To be the most rewarding and connected omnichannel retailer in America with amazing products, competitive pricing and an easy, seamless shopping experiences.
“Kohl’s Cares is at the heart of everything we do to serve, support and celebrate our associates, customers, communities and planet. Our goal is to create meaningful change that makes every day a little bit brighter.”
Kohl’s business is built on a solid foundation of more than 65 million customers, an unmatched brand portfolio, industry-leading loyalty and Kohl’s Card programs, a convenient and accessible nationwide store footprint, and large digital business on Kohls.com and the Kohl’s mobile app.