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Kohl’s Management Defends Retailer’s Performance, Citing Sephora and Eddie Bauer Deals

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Kohl’s has updated its response to the nine board nominations submitted by a group of investors. The company is rejecting the proposal but will continue working with the investors “with the goal of identifying new ideas that could enhance shareholder value.”

“We reject the investor group’s attempt to seize control of our board and disrupt our momentum, especially considering that we are well underway in implementing a strong growth strategy and accelerating our performance, and we have refreshed half our board with six new independent directors since 2016,” said the retailer in a statement.

The retailer has engaged in a long-term strategic plan that aims to increase its operating margin to 7% to 8%, among other goals. Efforts being made to reach this milestone include:

  • Forming a partnership with Sephora to launch 850 store-in-store shops and an exclusive online collection;
  • Expanding its activewear product portfolio with brands including Eddie Bauer to increase the active category from 20% to 30% of its business;
  • Growing its Women’s business by revamping the leadership team, eliminating 10 down-trending brands and cultivating a pipeline of new brands; and
  • “Capturing market share from the retail industry disruption” caused by the pandemic through strategies such as expanded omnichannel operations. Kohl’s digital sales grew 20% year-over-year in Q4 2020 and now represent more than 40% of net sales.

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