Think fast, think small: How Kohl’s rode the omnichannel wave

The “retail renaissance” is upon us if the headlines are to be believed, and several players who generated major worries that brick and mortar may never recover just five years ago are making triumphant comebacks. One such player is suburban big box retailer Kohl’s.

Kohl’s has made some significant changes to its operation in order to ride the very changeable wave that is the integration of e-commerce and brick and mortar retail, the most celebrated of which is a program to accept Amazon returns in some Kohl’s stores (even without packaging).

“We really only have one objective here, which is the key priority we have as a company is to drive traffic,” Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s former CEO said on a March earnings call with investors before his departure.

But what the 91-year-old chain can do with that traffic once it’s in the door is where the rubber meets the road, as Mansell admitted.

“We’re more focused on it being a great customer experience and making sure that the customer is happy when they do arrive in a Kohl’s store because that gives us the best opportunity to convert them into a sale,” he said.

How has the store answered the age-old question of how to turn traffic into sales? The answer is in its inventory management strategy.

Earlier this year, the company laid out a plan to change its purchasing and inventory management in order to get customers what they want faster and help them find it easier. The first step was to build a smaller box.

Read the full story at www.SupplyChainDive.com.

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