Kohl’s Lays Off 250 People in Reorganization

Kohl’s Corp. has laid off approximately 250 people, in what the Menomonee Falls, Wis.–based discounter calls a corporate reorganization.

The reorganization includes the removal of a layer of regional store leadership roles and positions. It has also restructured its merchant teams and made other corporate changes.

The news was announced as the company’s holiday sales came in below expectations, with same-store sales for November and December dropping 0.2%. While digital, beauty, children’s, men’s, and footwear sales all increased, sales of women’s products dropped, it said.

Third-quarter results were more mixed, with comps rising 0.4% and net income falling 24% to $123 million.

The company did not link the layoffs to the drop in sales, but a statement attributed to Jen Johnson, Kohl’s senior vice president of communications, called the staff reduction “difficult but necessary.

“This reorganization in our business will empower decision-making, reduce management layers, streamline communications and drive greater efficiency in many areas of our business,” said Johnson in the statement. “We put a great deal of thought and planning into this decision and have offered a competitive severance package and outplacement services to help all affected associates as they transition to their next step.”

The statement concluded that, despite the layoffs, Kohl’s “is in a position of financial strength.

“We are not closing any stores or corporate offices, and we are continuing to hire in key areas,” said Johnson. “The company is also continuing to invest in many areas of the business including our 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.”

In September, company president Sona Chawla stepped down. Michelle Gass has served as the company’s chief executive officer since 2018, replacing longtime CEO Kevin Mansell.

(Image courtesy of Kohl’s)

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JCK News Director