Imitation Greatest Form of Flattery for Kohl’s
By George Anderson
Rival department store chains are trying to out-Kohl’s Kohl’s with shopping carts, checkouts at the front-end and racetrack floor layouts to speed
consumers as they shop the store.
The new Sears Essential off-mall format will borrow some of the very elements credited with Kohl’s success but only time will tell if the result
will be the same.
Retail analyst Richard Hastings told The Detroit News, “Kohl’s wants a piece of that Kmart/Sears pie. They are within striking distance of
Kmart and Sears stores, and they are happy to move into competitive markets because they know their new stores typically generate a lot of traffic.”
For its part, at least publicly, Kohl’s downplays any talk of direct competition with Sears Essential format or others. “I don’t feel like we are
going head-to-head with them,” said Kohl’s Corp. spokesperson Lori Sansoucie.
In Michigan, where Kohl’s is adding new locations and remodeling others, Ms. Sansoucie said the market “already has the high growth potential and
the high concentration of families with children that we look for. There is so much change that it’ll be interesting to see where they shake out, but I don’t see us as direct
Moderator’s Comment: What challenges and opportunities do you see facing Kohl’s? What will it take for the chain to continue its success story?
George Anderson – Moderator