Kohl’s Merchandise Mix and Its Focus on Women’s Apparel



Preferred shopping destination

According to Chain Store Age, Kohl’s Corporation (KSS) was chosen as the leading shopping destination for spring 2015 by female consumers in a survey by Piper Jaffray. This marked the fourth survey in which Kohl’s was selected as the most preferred destination for women’s merchandise.

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Merchandise mix

In fiscal 2014, which ended January 31, 2015, women’s apparel accounted for 30% of Kohl’s net sales. The men’s, home, children, accessories, and footwear categories accounted for 20%, 18%, 13%, 10%, and 9%, respectively, of the company’s fiscal 2014 net sales.

Meanwhile, women’s apparel accounted for 23%, 30%, and 22% of the fiscal 2014 net sales of Macy’s (M), Nordstrom (JWN), and Dillard’s (DDS), respectively. Together, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and Nordstrom constitute 1.2% of the portfolio holdings of the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY).

Some of the key initiatives that reflect Kohl’s continued focus on women’s merchandise assortment include:

  • a partnership with Elie Tahari for Next DesigNation collection that was designed for fall 2014
  • a collaboration with Peter Som for the DesigNation collection launched in April 2014
  • a partnership with designer Michelle Smith to launch the MILLY for DesigNation limited-edition collection for spring 2015
  • the launch of a women’s apparel collection in April 2015 by Gaiam, a lifestyle company for yoga, fitness, and wellness products
  • a collaboration with designer Thakoon Panichgul for the seventh installment of Kohl’s DesigNation limited-edition collection
  • the launch of Madden Girl collection in October 2015

In an update on its Greatness Agenda strategy in October 2015, Kohl’s chief executive officer Kevin Mansell mentioned the focus on the women’s apparel business as one of the key aspects in the second year of its Greatness Agenda strategy. We’ll discuss this strategy in the next part of this series.


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