Why Kohl’s won’t be the next Sears

In October 2018, Sears entered bankruptcy. A department store that had existed for over 125 years, 3,500 stores and a staple in the US retail landscape.

But we are not here to dissect Sears’ failure. But instead look at why Kohl’s, has bucked the stagnant sales of late and taken a radical strategy to survive.

Kohl’s recently announced its partnership with Weight Watchers and will begin the WW Studio in one of its Chicago area stores. Though Weight Watchers and Kohl’s seems like an odd fit, this should be nothing new as the partnership with Amazon in the beginning of 2018 also raised many concerns and eyebrows for the retailer.

Kohl’s recognized the need for more foot traffic and shoppers to be in store longer to not become the next failed retailer case study. So far it looks positive with an 8.5% increase in customer traffic and 5 consecutive quarters of same-store sales.

Acquisition may have been Sears’ hope in boosting their income statement, but Kohl’s strategy of partnership may be the winning formula.

Is this non-traditional approach enough for them to survive? It appears Kohl’s is taking the “Innovate or Die” quote to heart.



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