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Kohl’s Q2 Conference Call Reveals 2014 E-Commerce Plans

During its Q2 conference call Thursday, department store chain, Kohl’s Corp. revealed the e-commerce strategies it plans to incorporate during 2014.

According to Internet Retailer, the company’s executives said they will soon be improving Kohl’s mobile app and testing a pick up in store program in 100 stores, in hopes of reaching its goal of 20 percent e-commerce sales growth.

Kohl’s reported sales of $4.242 billion in the second quarter, up 1.1% from the same period last year. E-commerce sales data was not disclosed.

In a conference call, however, chief financial officer, Wes McDonald said that e-retail sales increased more than 20 percent in July, after failing to reach that growth mark during the first quarter. “We plan to grow e-commerce 20% a year. We are going to overachieve that in July, August, September for sure, and then it should go back to a normalized 20% going forward,” he added.

The conference call also revealed that Kohl’s retail distribution centers reported lower costs while its e-commerce centers reported higher costs.

Kohl’s hopes its plan to offer an online selection and in-store pick up will help drive more traffic to stores. If the pick up in store pilot is successful, the retailer said it will roll it out to all stores nationwide. McDonald said the program would give customers another reason to make a visit to the store that they might not otherwise have made. “So it is all about traffic,” he said.

The retailer also reiterated its plans to use about 800 of its stores to fill online orders, using them essentially as mini e-commerce warehouses, which will help to improve shipping time and provide additional capacity.

With mobile driving e-commerce as it largely does today, Kohl’s anticipates its e-commerce gains will come largely from mobile, and in an effort to up the ease of the portable shopping, the retailer will focus on improving its app for greater ease of use and faster check out.