Friday, July 10, 2009

Kohl’s can thank me later

Kohl’s owes me, and the retailer doesn’t even know it yet.

My 84-year-old mother traveled from her home in Louisiana to visit me a couple of weeks ago, and while we were lunching together at one of my favorite cafes, she commented on a particular outfit I was wearing.

I shared with her that it was a Dana Buchman ensemble, which I had recently purchased at Kohl’s.

Dana Buchman? At Kohl’s? Mom’s eyebrows raised, as I knew they would. My mother is one of those well-to-do, fashionable, elderly types who dresses to the nines even for her weekly grocery-shopping excursion. She favors high-end brands and timeless pieces -- in great quantity. (My older sister went through Mom’s closet recently, and counted 14 pairs of almost-identical black slacks. And not a single pair cost less than $150.)

Mom loves Dana Buchman, but she purchases the designer’s items from high-end department stores – not Kohl’s. When I told her that Dana Buchman now had an exclusively-for-Kohl’s line of apparel and fashion accessories -- at supremely discounted prices -- she was visibly interested. And I knew it was only a matter of time before she scouted out her local Shreveport, La. Kohl’s store.

She found it -- and only one day after her return home from her visit with me in Lincoln.

Mom now owns 11 Dana Buchman pieces from Kohl’s. And I can assure you that this is just the beginning. She will now add Kohl’s to her shopping trail, and that means regular visits and sizeable purchases.

I’ve shopped Kohl’s for years -- but until Dana Buchman entered the picture I will admit that I had never bought clothes for myself. The retailer was my go-to for my son’s shorts and my daughter’s tops and underwear, but little else. Since Kohl’s added a label I love, I have now begun exploring other departments -- and recently made a bedding purchase that topped $500.

Kohl’s seems to be figuring out what other retailers are still struggling to understand -- what shoppers want and what motivates us to part with our money even during a recessionary period.

Kohl’s doesn’t really owe me anything, but I’d like to think that I will have played a part -- albeit a small one -- when the next quarter’s sales results reflect an unexpected increase in the southern region.

-- Katherine Field


Denise Lee Yohn said...

this is a great lesson for any retailer (or any brand for that matter) seeking to grow their word-of-mouth -- social media and all the popular tactics aside, the first and most important step is to ensure you are delivering something of great value to your target customers -- they'll be sure to talk about it!

Anonymous said...

Your blog post has made it to Kohl's Corporate Headquarters where we thank you for posting about your positive experience with our brands!! We are certainly glad we struck a chord with your mother who before, would only shop high-end stores. We strive for excellence for our customers and it's nice to know our strategies are working!

Believe me when I tell you that Kohl's knows about your experience and we send our gratitude for being so positive about our Dana Buchman line. Happy shopping!

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