Kohl's CEO says the department store chain will still invest in tech to stay afloat

In tandem with news earlier this year that Kohl’s would modify hundreds of stores in lieu of closing them like other major retailers comes a recently reported statement from Kohl’s Chief Executive Kevin Mansell. His optimistic words entailed that the department store chain will continue to make a significant investment in tech-related improvements in order to keep up with the competition or both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores.

Despite troubled times, Kohl's is still investing in its stores - Kohl's

It’s been reported that over the last three years, Kohl’s has invested $2 billion into technology and $1 billion into its stores in general. Despite five straight quarters of dwindling sales (magnified by a larger Q1 decline of 2.7%), Mansell says the department store chain is still prepared to make tech investments that improve customer experience. For example, knowing the inventory, style and size of an item at every store at any given time and the ability to keep a closer eye on worker costs to balance rising wages and declining sales.
Funds are also going towards keeping the Kohl’s shopping and mobile payment apps relevant, which the company says is crucial when it comes to keeping existing customers loyal and satisfied. Kohl’s loyalty program—recently revamped in 2015—satisfies customers who don’t have or qualify for a store credit card, yet another strategy to keep ahead of the competition.

Public data proves that the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based chain is in a stronger financial position than rivals such as J.C. Penney, Sears and Macy’s—one of the reasons being that only 5 percent of Kohl’s stores are located within the mall environment. When it comes to e-commerce, 25 percent of all online orders are filled by a brick-and-mortar Kohl’s store rather than a distribution facility. This has proven to be a key strategy for battling strong online competition like Amazon as it continues to grow its home and apparel channels—two genres that Kohl’s relies on.  

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