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Kohl’s New Effort to Engage Millennials – Is It Enough?

Kohl’s loyal customer base is aging, and in most cases, so are their stores. They are in the process of revamping their strategy to chase Millennials to diversify their shopping base and bring in new customers.

Winning younger customers is a key priority for Kohl’s as the retailer works to become more relevant with this generation.  A much-publicized effort is accepting Amazon returns and then engaging with that customer by offering Kohl’s cash to get them walking around the store and shopping.

The Outfit Bar is Kohl’s newest concept geared towards Millennials, targeted towards those who want a quick-fix solution that sells complete outfits, similar to what a Stitch Fix offers but in store. The display mixes different brands and items highlighting the current fashion trends and incorporating branded partnerships like Lauren Conrad and popsugar.

Kohl’s is putting is best foot forward to create a Pinterest-like “outfit bar,” but is it being executed properly? Here’s our rundown:

  • The concept is visible from the entrance (Chicago – Bucktown location). It is easy to see and looks inviting with trendy pieces.
  • The greenery catches the eye but hanging below is a messy mix of jumpsuits that lack rhyme or reason.
  • The idea of “solution selling” is there, but lacks modernity, proper signage and styling ideas.
  • There is an opportunity to bring in more mannequins displaying the outfits available. Otherwise, it’s just another rack of clothes similar to how the rest of the store is laid out.
  • Creative messaging is there – an opportunity to take it one step further and layer it throughout the department.

We applaud Kohl’s on their ongoing effort to attract the Millennial generation. Like many traditional retailers with an aging customer base, there is still significant work to do.

Alex Timion

Alex Timion

Alex leads McMillanDoolittle’s global communications work and is the primary point of contact for Ebeltoft Group, McMillanDoolittle’s international partnership with over two dozen retail consulting member firms around the world. In this capacity, Alex coordinates collaborative project work, assists with original global studies, runs point on Ebeltoft Group’s annual publication Retail Innovations, and provides comprehensive event planning assistance for bi-annual international conferences. As a Senior Associate, Alex provides planning and presentation support for the company’s retail focused study tours and speaking engagements, including NRF’s Big Show.

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