Kohl’s lays off 250 employees company-wide (Reports).
Department store chain Kohl’s Corporation, one of the largest in the United States, will “eliminate roles” as part of a wide-ranging restructuring to improve efficiency.
The roles to be eliminated will be the jobs held by 250 employees working at the company’s Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, headquarters; offices in New York and California; and other regional positions. Like other retailers, Kohl’s has to cope with a tough market being eaten away by online retailers such as Amazon.com. Despite the tougher environment, Kohl’s said it isn’t closing any of its stores.
In January, Kohl’s reported its holiday sales in 2019 were lower compared to 2018. Sales in November and December 2019 slipped 0.2%. Kohl’s isn’t alone in its retail blues, however. Competitors J.C. Penney and Macy’s both announced store closures and layoffs amid lower 2019 sales.
In 2018, Kohl’s reported a rise in revenues to $20.2 billion but also a drop in operating income to $1.4 billion and a reduction in net income to $801 million.
Kohl’s employs some 130,000 people in its more than 1,100 stores in the U.S. As part of the latest round of layoffs, Kohl’s said it offered buyouts to salaried and hourly employees in a voluntary role reduction in 2019. It also eliminated 60 technology jobs as part of the restructuring in 2018.
“The departures include removing a layer of regional store leadership roles and positions, restructuring teams in our merchant organization and changes to other positions in our corporate offices,” said Senior Vice President of Communications Jen Johnson.
Johnson claims the affected workers were offered “a competitive severance package and outplacement services.” She pointed out the reorganization that led to the firings will “empower decision-making, reduce management layers, streamline communications and drive greater efficiency in many areas of our business.”
On the other hand, Kohl’s continues to hire in key areas and invest in the stores, technology and strategic growth initiatives.
“The organizational changes we’ve made are driven by the evolution of our strategic business priorities to create a more agile and empowered organization to support our long-term sustainable growth,” according to Johnson.
Kohl’s private brands generate nearly half the company’s annual sales. These include in-house clothing brands such as American Beauty, Apt. 9, Croft & Barrow, Jumping Beans, So, Tek Gear and Urban Pipeline. Its store brands include diffusion lines from high-end designers.