Kohl's Reinvents Itself While Giving Something Unique Back

Amid a difficult year, good Samaritan retailer Kohl's receives global ethical award.

Mar 19, 2023 - 18:30
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Kohl's Reinvents Itself While Giving Something Unique Back

Amid a difficult year, good Samaritan retailer Kohl's receives global ethical award.

Kohl’s  (KSS) - Get Free Report survived a tumultuous year meeting with potential buyers into the second quarter of 2022 and then decidedly pulling out of negotiations with Franchise Group  (FRG) - Get Free Report citing a volatile market. 

Kohl’s had been struggling over the years and without making some major changes, it didn’t look good for the retail department store that had been around since it was founded in 1962.

Kohl’s has worked to reinvent itself this last year with efforts to increase inclusivity by introducing gender neutral clothing, as well as clothing for the differently abled. Kohl’s also started to create more of a focus on fashion trends by women for women through its Discover @ Kohl’s section. This section of the store features seasonal fashions highlighting different audiences’ personalities and styles.

Kohl’s still found ways to give back despite having a volatile year. Discover @ Kohl’s features products that give back like that of Brands Ivory Ella, Yoobi and Teleties. Ivory Ella donates 10% of its net profits to Save the Elephants. Yoobi donates school supplies to children in need in the U.S. Teleties also donates to Force, which is a non-profit for individuals affected by hereditary cancers, according to the Kohl's statement. 

Kohl's Ethical Standards Rewarded

Over the last eight months Kohl’s has made strides to set a higher standard for its community. Kohl’s committed to donating more than $2 million to eight different Milwaukee Hometown Partners, the start of a commitment to give back $20 million through 2025.

In October, Kohls donated $150,000 to American Red Cross to aid in relief for Hurricane Ian in addition to supporting Kohl’s staff affected by the disaster. Kohl’s continued its efforts by donating another $5 million to over 150 different non-profits nationwide with its Community with a Heart Program. Despite the crazy year that Kohl’s had, it still managed to issue dividends to investors.

Kohl’s efforts in its community and inclusivity have landed it on the top companies recognized by Ethisphere for the fifth year in a row. Ethisphere is a global leader in ethical business standards and practices. For 2023, only 135 businesses worldwide would receive this award and Kohl’s is one of three retail businesses to do such.

Kohl’s is thrilled to be recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the fifth consecutive year, which demonstrates our commitment to achieve the highest standards of integrity and performance,” said Steve Thomas, Kohl’s chief risk and compliance officer, said in a statement. “Responsible corporate citizenship is an important part of our company’s values and guides how we interact with our customers, associates and communities. As we continue to uphold ethical standards for ourselves and our partners to maintain fair business practices, we look forward to driving results through our ongoing ESG efforts.”

“Congratulations to Kohl’s and its associates for their fifth consecutive year of earning this recognition,” said Erica Salmon Byrne, Ethisphere’s chief executive officer. “Today, consumers look to retailers to remain ethical, accountable, and trusted to drive positive change. We honor the Kohl’s team for its focus on values-based leadership and dedication to making a real impact for their stakeholders."

Community Efforts vs. Business Survival

Kohl’s has a great heart for caring for its community, but unfortunately it recently announced layoffs of 60 employees at its corporate location. Layoffs are sometimes part of business but the departments that helped maneuver through the changes over the last year would have been from its marketing and merchandising departments, which were the departments affected by the layoffs. Even after the layoffs, Kohl’s announced that it would again issue a quarterly dividend to investors as well as a $750,000 donation to Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee.

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