Kohl’s mission statement is “to be the leading family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering quality exclusive and national brand merchandise to the customer in an environment that is convenient, friendly, and exciting” (Dubey, 2013). This mission indicates Kohl’s commitment to increase its brands across America by focusing on product quality, its customers’ shopping experience, and its specific market niche. For instance, Duprey (2019) indicates how Kohl employees help customers to make purchases, which increases shopping experience. Also, Kohl has recently been moving from shopping malls and moving to other stand-alone stores that are more user-friendly.
The main components of Kohl mission statement are:
- Customer shopping experience
- Producing quality products
Niche, “to be the leading family-focused,” part describes the target market of the Kohl products. Kohl offers a wide array of products under one roof that aim at satisfying families. Kohl Corporation has unique products that aim at improving the shopping experience of their customers. They achieve this by offering different products such as accessories, footwear, women products, men products, children, and home products. Their merchandise is also competitively priced; that means most people can access and afford the most current trends and fashion styles. Kohl’s marketing department also conducts extensive market research to gain insights into what the consumers want and increase brand awareness.
Producing quality products, “offering quality exclusive and national brand merchandise,” component describes the capabilities that Kohl has to offer unique and quality products to their target market. Kohl Corporation offers unique and wide varieties of goods and services that customers choose. Kohl has also made an effort to create unique spaces for each brand in their stores. Kohl has partnered with exclusive brands to offer world-class brands and merchandise for their customers. Kohl has exclusive licenses from brands such as Nike, Lee, Adidas, Van Heusen, and Levi among others. The corporation controls the production, manufacturing, and marketing expenses, which earns them more profit margins (Dubey, 2013).
Customer shopping experience, “…to the customer in an environment that is convenient, friendly, and exciting” component illustrates the emphasis placed by Kohl to make customers happy. Since the year 2015, Kohl Company has focused on improving information technology initiatives that allow seamless Omni-channel experience in that customers browse, buy, pick-up, and return merchandise online, in stores or through a combination of both (Vault, 2019). Also, the company has invested in big data and analytics that enhance personalization and marketing strategies that improve customer satisfaction. Kohl also partnered with Amazon to accept Amazon returns in some Kohl stores and established Amazon Smart Home Experience zones within their stores.
The first Kohl Company began in 1962 when the founder Max Kohl opened the first departmental store in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Kohl had succeeded in making a small grocery store in the Milwaukee area into one of the biggest supermarkets that offered everything from candy, shoes, to engine oil as well as sporting gear (Dubey, 2013). The success of the store attracted multiple investors, and by 1978, a division of the British American Tobacco (BAT) PLC purchased 80% of the stake, which meant that they were in control of the business that led to Kohl’s family withdrawal from the management.
The BAT management placed more emphasis on “value-oriented” and “bargain basement” that did not fit well in the market. As a result, the stores failed to withstand competition and the management purchased Kohl stores. Kohl Corporation was formed in 1986 by a management-led group, and they acquired the Kohl departmental stores from BAT. The greatest success of the Kohl company came when they purchased 26 main street stores from the Federated Department Stores in 1988. This acquisition led to the expansion of Kohl’s operation to other cities such as Michigan, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Also, the expansion of the services increases sales revenue to $1 billion from $388 million (Kohl Company Report, 2019).
By the year 2000, Kohl Corporation had around 298 stores in 25 states, and it celebrated the tenth anniversary as a public company in 2002. Kohl introduced a new positioning statement in the year 2005 as “expect great things” (Kohl Company Report, 2019). This branding resulted in some notable successes enjoyed by the company. The current Kohl vision statement indicates that they are determined to offer the best merchandise at the best prices. Also, the mission statement focuses on customer satisfaction by producing notable brands that make people happy.
Kohl Corporation vision statement is “We not only offer the best merchandise at the best prices, but we’re always working to make your shopping experience enjoyable.” (Kohl Company Report, 2019). The vision of Kohl began when the first store was opened that allowed people to access different products under one roof. People were able to access and buy products such as hardware equipment, food, sports gear, and furniture. The Kohl vision did not stop at Wisconsin where the store first opened, they expanded their operations to other different States to enable people to enjoy shopping for various products in one area. They have achieved this vision by opening more than 1000 stores in the USA, and they are opening more stores. Also, the vision of the company aligns with the Kohl mission and values.
The components of the vision statement are:
- Offer the best merchandise at the best prices
- Create enjoyable shopping experiences
The “offer the best merchandise at the best prices” component shows how Kohl hold their customers with high regards. They are determined to offer quality products by working with world-class brands whose products are sold in the stores. Recently, Kohl Company has been closing down their stores in malls and opening smaller stores to increase their competitive advantage. Most of the stores are owned by Kohl, and they are renting spaces to Amazon within their stores (Kohl, 2018). Therefore, higher sales and relatively lower operating costs compared to their competitors enable Kohl to offer the best products at favorable prices.
“To create enjoyable shopping experiences” shows the effort that Kohl Corporation put into making it more convenient for shoppers to buy goods and services. All the products found within one area makes it enjoyable for families to find all things in one place. The workers at Kohl stores assist the customers when buying goods through their “bargain basement” strategy.
Various core values uphold Kohl Corporation’s mission and vision. These values include:
- We put customers first and take a “yes we can” approach to everything we do.
- We support our communities and causes our customers, and Associates care about.
- We act with integrity, earning trust by living up to our commitments, treating each other with respect and fairness, and making decisions that support the reputation of the organization. We build great teams, by communicating openly and embracing diverse perspectives. The empowerment, engagement and continuous development of all Associates are actively promoted.
- We foster a culture of appreciation and recognition. We drive results by working with a sense of urgency and accountability, making informed decisions and offering up new and innovative solutions (Kohl, 2019).
Dubey, C. (2013). Kohl: A retailer with sound management. Retrieved from https://www.nasdaq.com/article/kohls-a-retailer-with-sound-management-cm225183
Duprey, R. (2019). Is Kohl Creating the Department Store of the Future? Retrieved from https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/02/22/can-kohls-succeed-where-jc-penney-failed.aspx
Kohl (2018). Kohl 2017 fact book. https://corporate.kohls.com/content/dam/kohlscorp/company/purpose-and-values/2017_Kohls_Factbook.pdf
Kohl (2019). Kohl purpose and values. Retrieved from https://corporate.kohls.com/company/purpose-and-values
Kohl Company Report (2019). Kohl- Expect great things to happen. Retrieved from https://kohlscompanyresearchreport.weebly.com/history.html Vault (2019). Kohl Department Stores, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.vault.com/company-profiles/retail/kohls-department-stores,-inc/company-overview.aspx