UpFront: Kohl’s focusing on “seamless” customer experience

Kohl’s Corp. CEO Kevin Mansell said the Menomonee Falls-based company aims to be the most engaging retailer in the nation.

Although he said the department store chain remains “very profitable,” Mansell blamed wider economic troubles and changes in the retail marketplace for stagnant profit margins.

“The last few years have been admittedly slower on the growth side,” Mansell said on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com .

In the face of consolidation among retailers, and a rise in online options, Mansell said speed and customer experience are critical elements of the company’s strategy to remain competitive.

“Virtual retailing is here to stay and growing … our focus is definitely on driving more traffic and getting customers back in to Kohl’s,” Mansell said. “We are having to evolve basically on every front.”

According to Mansell, Kohl’s will focus on creating a “seamless” experience for shoppers, blending online and in-store shopping and improving customer service. He said he’d like the retailer to be the best employer in the southeast corner of the state.

An improved headquarters is part of that strategy, Mansell said. Kohl’s considered moving its headquarters to downtown Milwaukee, but eventually struck a tax credit deal with the state and the village of Menomonee Falls to expand the current facilities.

“We’re definitely focused on growing … the agreement with the state, and to a lesser extent the village, is really about growing our facilities and investing in our business, and therefore growing jobs,” Mansell said. “We’re going to benefit from it, and I think the economy in Milwaukee will benefit from it as well.”

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