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Company > Kohl's: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Kohl's: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Mar 09, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into Kohl's, a leading retail company, to gain a comprehensive understanding of its business model, conducting a SWOT analysis, and exploring its competitors in the year 2023. Kohl's, known for its vast selection of clothing, home goods, and accessories, has established itself as a prominent player in the retail industry. By examining its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, we can assess the company's current position and potential future prospects. Additionally, we will examine the competitive landscape, identifying the key players that pose a challenge to Kohl's success.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Kohl's and the key stakeholders involved in the company's ownership structure.
    • The mission statement of Kohl's and how it guides the company's strategic direction.
    • The various revenue streams and business strategies employed by Kohl's to generate profit.
    • An explanation of Kohl's Business Model Canvas, highlighting the key components and how they contribute to the company's success.
    • An overview of Kohl's main competitors in the retail industry and their impact on Kohl's market position.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Kohl's, examining its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to better understand its competitive landscape.

    Who owns Kohl's?

    Major Shareholders of Kohl's

    Kohl's is a publicly traded company, which means that it is owned by shareholders who hold stocks in the company. Let's take a closer look at some of the major shareholders of Kohl's:

    1. Institutional Investors: Institutional investors are organizations such as mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance companies that invest large amounts of money in various stocks. These investors often hold significant ownership stakes in Kohl's. Some of the major institutional investors in Kohl's include The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and State Street Corporation.

    2. Kohl's Corporation: The company itself, Kohl's Corporation, also holds a substantial stake in its own stock. This is not uncommon for many publicly traded companies, as it allows them to have control and influence over their own shares.

    3. Individual Shareholders: Many individuals also own shares of Kohl's. These can include retail investors, employees of the company, and others who have purchased stocks in the company. While the individual ownership may be fragmented among a large number of people, their collective ownership can still have an impact on the company.

    4. Board of Directors and Executive Team: Members of the board of directors and executive team of Kohl's also hold shares in the company. Their ownership not only demonstrates their confidence in the company's future but also aligns their interests with those of the shareholders.

    It's important to note that ownership stakes can change over time as shareholders buy or sell their shares. Publicly traded companies like Kohl's are required to disclose the ownership stakes of major shareholders periodically in their financial reports.

    Influence of Ownership on Kohl's Decisions

    The ownership structure of Kohl's plays a significant role in determining the direction and decision-making processes of the company. Major shareholders, especially institutional investors, often have a say in important matters such as the election of the board of directors and the approval of major strategic decisions.

    Institutional investors usually have a long-term investment horizon and may engage in active dialogue with the management team to advocate for changes or improvements that could enhance shareholder value. Their involvement can influence the company's strategies, corporate governance practices, and even executive compensation.

    Moreover, the ownership stake held by Kohl's Corporation itself allows the company to make decisions that align with its long-term goals and vision. By having a significant interest in its own stock, Kohl's can take actions that it believes will benefit the company's performance and shareholder value.

    Overall, the ownership structure of Kohl's reflects a diverse group of stakeholders who have varying levels of influence and interest in the company's success. The collective ownership and involvement of these shareholders contribute to the overall governance and strategic decisions made by Kohl's.

    What is the mission statement of Kohl's?

    The Mission Statement of Kohl's: Enhancing the Everyday Life of Kohl's Customers

    Kohl's, a well-known retail company, has a clear and concise mission statement that reflects its commitment to providing an exceptional shopping experience for its customers. The mission statement of Kohl's is to "inspire and empower families to lead fulfilled lives."

    This mission statement highlights the company's dedication to enhancing the everyday lives of its customers. Kohl's strives to go beyond offering products and aims to inspire and empower families. By doing so, the company establishes a meaningful connection with its customers and becomes more than just a retailer.

    Kohl's achieves its mission by consistently providing quality products, exceptional customer service, and a welcoming shopping environment. The company's commitment to offering a wide range of merchandise at affordable prices allows families to find everything they need in one place. Whether it's clothing, home decor, or beauty products, Kohl's strives to meet the diverse needs and preferences of its customers.

    In addition to offering a vast selection of products, Kohl's focuses on creating a positive shopping experience. The company's customer service team is trained to provide friendly and knowledgeable assistance, ensuring that customers feel valued and supported. Kohl's also invests in creating a welcoming atmosphere within its stores, aiming to make every visit a pleasant and enjoyable one.

    Moreover, Kohl's embraces its responsibility towards the community and actively participates in various philanthropic initiatives. By supporting local organizations and making a positive impact in the communities it serves, Kohl's aims to fulfill its mission statement and contribute to the well-being of families beyond the shopping experience.

    In conclusion, Kohl's mission statement centers around inspiring and empowering families to lead fulfilled lives. Through its commitment to offering quality products, exceptional customer service, creating a welcoming shopping environment, and engaging in community initiatives, Kohl's strives to enhance the everyday lives of its customers and be more than just a retail store.

    How does Kohl's make money?

    Retail Sales

    The primary source of revenue for Kohl's is retail sales. As a department store chain, Kohl's offers a wide range of products, including clothing, shoes, accessories, home goods, and beauty products. Customers visit Kohl's stores or shop online to purchase these items, generating revenue for the company. Through strategic merchandising, Kohl's aims to attract customers with popular and trendy products, competitive prices, and frequent sales and discounts.

    Private Label Brands

    Kohl's also generates revenue through its private label brands. These are products that are exclusively designed and manufactured for Kohl's. By creating their own brands, Kohl's can offer unique products that are not available at other retailers, giving customers a reason to shop specifically at Kohl's. Additionally, private label brands often have higher profit margins compared to well-known national brands, allowing Kohl's to maximize its earnings.

    Partnerships with National Brands

    In addition to its private label brands, Kohl's collaborates with various national brands to sell their products in its stores. These partnerships benefit both parties involved. For Kohl's, it enhances its product offerings by featuring well-known brands that customers already trust and recognize. This attracts a broader customer base and boosts sales. On the other hand, national brands benefit from the wider distribution network and exposure that Kohl's provides, increasing their market reach and potential sales.

    Kohl's Charge Card

    Kohl's also generates revenue through its own branded credit card, called the Kohl's Charge Card. This card offers exclusive benefits to its holders, such as special discounts, rewards, and early access to sales events. By encouraging customers to use the Kohl's Charge Card for their purchases, the company not only increases customer loyalty but also earns revenue through interest charges and fees associated with the card.

    Online Sales

    With the rise of e-commerce, Kohl's has expanded its online presence to reach a larger customer base. Online sales have become a significant source of revenue for the company. Through its website and mobile app, customers can browse and purchase products from the comfort of their homes. Kohl's invests in digital marketing and user-friendly online platforms to attract and retain online shoppers, further driving its revenue growth.


    Kohl's employs multiple revenue streams to make money. Its primary source of revenue comes from retail sales, both in-store and online. The company also benefits from private label brands, partnerships with national brands, its own branded credit card, and online sales. By leveraging these strategies, Kohl's continues to thrive in the competitive retail industry.

    Kohl's Business Model Canvas Explained


    Kohl's, a well-known American department store chain, has successfully implemented a business model canvas that has contributed to its growth and success in the retail industry. In this section, we will explore and explain the key components of Kohl's business model canvas, shedding light on the strategies and tactics that have made the company thrive.

    Key Partnerships

    One of the essential elements of Kohl's business model canvas is its network of key partnerships. Kohl's has established strategic alliances and collaborations with various partners to enhance its operations and offer customers a wide range of products and services. Some of the key partnerships include brand collaborations with popular designers and celebrities, such as Lauren Conrad and Jennifer Lopez. These partnerships allow Kohl's to leverage the reputation and expertise of these influential figures to attract customers and create exclusive product lines. Additionally, Kohl's has partnered with various technology and logistics providers to optimize its supply chain, improve inventory management, and enhance the overall customer experience.

    Key Activities

    Kohl's key activities revolve around its core retail operations. The company focuses on providing a seamless shopping experience for its customers both in-store and online. This involves activities such as merchandising, inventory management, marketing and advertising, customer service, and store operations. Kohl's also invests heavily in data analytics and technology to gain insights into customer preferences and behavior, enabling personalized marketing campaigns and targeted promotions. Moreover, the company continuously explores new trends and innovations in the retail industry to stay ahead of the competition and adapt its strategies accordingly.

    Value Proposition

    Kohl's value proposition lies in its ability to offer quality products at affordable prices while providing a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience. The company strives to meet the diverse needs and preferences of its customers by offering a wide selection of merchandise across various categories, including apparel, home goods, beauty, and electronics. Additionally, Kohl's focuses on providing exceptional customer service through knowledgeable and friendly staff, hassle-free returns, and loyalty programs that reward customers for their continued support. By delivering value in terms of product assortment, price competitiveness, and customer service, Kohl's has built a loyal customer base and differentiated itself from competitors.

    Customer Segments

    Kohl's targets a broad customer base, catering to different demographic segments and consumer preferences. The company appeals to value-conscious shoppers who seek affordable yet stylish products. Kohl's also targets families, offering a range of products for adults, children, and infants. Additionally, the company recognizes the growing importance of online retail and has developed strategies to attract and retain digitally savvy customers. Kohl's customer segments encompass a wide range of age groups, income levels, and geographic locations, allowing the company to reach a diverse market and maximize its revenue potential.


    Kohl's business model canvas encompasses key partnerships, core activities, value proposition, and customer segments that have contributed to its success in the retail industry. By forging strategic alliances, focusing on core retail operations, delivering value to customers, and targeting diverse consumer segments, Kohl's has positioned itself as a leading department store chain. Understanding and leveraging these components of Kohl's business model canvas can provide valuable insights for entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to thrive in the retail sector.

    Which companies are the competitors of Kohl's?

    Major Competitors

    Kohl's operates in a highly competitive retail market, facing competition from several major players. Here are some of the main companies that pose a challenge to Kohl's:

    1. Macy's: As one of the largest department store chains in the United States, Macy's is a direct competitor to Kohl's. Known for its wide range of products, Macy's offers clothing, accessories, home goods, and beauty products, among others. Macy's also focuses on providing a premium shopping experience, often hosting special events and collaborations with well-known designers.

    2. Target: While Target is primarily known as a discount store, it competes with Kohl's in various product categories such as apparel, home goods, and electronics. Target's competitive advantage lies in its affordable prices and trendy product selection. Additionally, Target has been successful in building a strong online presence, which further intensifies the competition.

    3. JCPenney: JCPenney, another prominent department store chain, directly competes with Kohl's in terms of product offerings and target customers. JCPenney emphasizes affordable prices while providing a diverse range of merchandise, including clothing, home furnishings, and appliances. Both Kohl's and JCPenney aim to attract value-conscious shoppers, making them fierce competitors.

    Specialty Competitors

    Apart from major department store chains, Kohl's also faces competition from specialty retailers that focus on specific product categories. Some notable specialty competitors include:

    1. Gap Inc.: Operating under various brands such as Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy, Gap Inc. offers fashion-forward clothing and accessories. While Kohl's primarily targets the mid-market segment, Gap Inc. appeals to a slightly higher-end clientele, offering more upscale and trendy apparel options.

    2. Bed Bath & Beyond: Known for its extensive selection of home goods, Bed Bath & Beyond competes with Kohl's in the home furnishings category. Both companies offer a wide range of products for bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and more. While Kohl's may provide a broader assortment of merchandise, Bed Bath & Beyond focuses solely on home-related items, giving them an edge in this specific market segment.

    Online Competitors

    In recent years, online retail has become increasingly popular, posing a significant challenge to brick-and-mortar stores like Kohl's. Here are some key online competitors:

    1. Amazon: As the largest online retailer globally, Amazon competes with almost every retail company, including Kohl's. With its vast product selection, competitive pricing, and convenient shopping experience, Amazon has attracted millions of customers. Although Kohl's has partnered with Amazon to enhance its online presence, it still faces stiff competition from Amazon's own retail operations.

    2. Zappos: Specializing in footwear and accessories, Zappos is a popular online retailer that competes with Kohl's in this particular category. Zappos differentiates itself through its exceptional customer service and extensive product range, providing shoppers with a convenient and personalized online shopping experience.

    In conclusion, Kohl's operates in a highly competitive landscape, facing competition from major department store chains, specialty retailers, and online giants. Despite this intense competition, Kohl's remains a strong player in the retail industry by focusing on its unique value proposition and continuously adapting to changing consumer preferences.

    Kohl's SWOT Analysis


    • Strong brand recognition: Kohl's is a well-established retail brand with a strong presence in the market. It has built a reputation for offering quality products at affordable prices, which has helped to attract a loyal customer base.

    • Diverse product offerings: Kohl's offers a wide range of products, including apparel, home goods, beauty products, and accessories. This diversity in its product offerings allows the company to cater to a broad customer base and capture different market segments.

    • Effective marketing and promotional strategies: Kohl's has a history of implementing effective marketing and promotional strategies. The company regularly offers discounts, coupons, and special promotions to attract customers and drive sales. Additionally, Kohl's has partnered with popular brands and celebrities to create exclusive collections, further enhancing its appeal to customers.

    • Strong online presence: Kohl's has made significant investments in its online platform, which has resulted in a strong online presence for the company. The company's website is user-friendly, and it offers convenient features such as online ordering, in-store pickup, and easy returns. Kohl's also has a mobile app that allows customers to shop on the go, further expanding its reach.


    • Limited international presence: While Kohl's is a well-known brand in the United States, it has limited international presence. This lack of international expansion restricts the company's growth opportunities and exposes it to potential risks associated with over-reliance on the domestic market.

    • Dependence on promotions and discounts: Kohl's heavily relies on promotions, discounts, and sales events to attract customers and drive sales. While these strategies have been effective in the past, they can impact the company's profit margins and create a perception of low-value products among customers.

    • Inconsistent customer service: Kohl's has received mixed reviews regarding its customer service. Some customers have reported positive experiences, while others have complained about long wait times and unhelpful staff. Inconsistent customer service can negatively impact customer satisfaction and loyalty.


    • Expansion into new markets: Kohl's has the opportunity to expand its presence into new markets, both domestically and internationally. By targeting untapped markets, the company can increase its customer base and revenue streams.

    • Enhanced focus on e-commerce: The growth of e-commerce presents an opportunity for Kohl's to further strengthen its online platform and expand its digital capabilities. Investing in technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics can help the company improve its online shopping experience and drive sales.

    • Strategic partnerships: Kohl's can explore strategic partnerships with popular brands and designers to create exclusive collections or collaborations. These partnerships can help differentiate Kohl's from competitors, attract new customers, and drive sales.


    • Intense competition: The retail industry is highly competitive, and Kohl's faces competition from both brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce giants. Competitors offer similar products and discounts, making it crucial for Kohl's to differentiate itself and maintain its competitive edge.

    • Economic factors: Kohl's is susceptible to economic factors such as fluctuations in consumer spending, changes in interest rates, and economic downturns. These factors can significantly impact consumer behavior and purchasing power, which can in turn affect Kohl's sales and profitability.

    • Changing consumer preferences: Consumer preferences and shopping habits are continuously evolving. Shifting trends towards online shopping, sustainability, and convenience can pose challenges for Kohl's if it fails to adapt to these changes. The company needs to stay attuned to consumer preferences and adjust its strategies accordingly.

    Key Takeaways

    • Ownership of Kohl's: Kohl's is a publicly traded company, meaning it is owned by its shareholders.
    • Mission statement: Kohl's mission is to be the leading specialty department store that delivers an exceptional shopping experience through the latest brands, exclusive collections, and incredible savings.
    • Revenue generation: Kohl's primarily makes money through the sale of apparel, accessories, home goods, and beauty products in its brick-and-mortar stores and online platform.
    • Business model canvas: Kohl's business model centers around offering a wide range of affordable, high-quality merchandise, utilizing promotions and discounts, maintaining strong customer relationships, and strategic partnerships with brands.
    • Competitors: Key competitors of Kohl's include department stores like Macy's, JCPenney, and Nordstrom, as well as discount retailers like Target and Walmart.
    • SWOT analysis: Kohl's strengths lie in its strong brand recognition, extensive product offerings, and loyal customer base. However, it faces challenges in the competitive retail landscape, potential threats from online retailers, and the need to adapt to changing consumer preferences.


    In conclusion, Kohl's is a well-established retail company that has been serving customers for decades. While there is no single owner of Kohl's as it is a publicly traded company, it is collectively owned by its shareholders. The mission statement of Kohl's is to inspire and empower families to lead fulfilled lives by delivering amazing product value, ease, and an engaging shopping experience.

    Kohl's primarily generates revenue through the sale of a wide range of products, including apparel, accessories, home goods, and beauty products. Additionally, they offer various services such as online shopping, in-store pickup, and a loyalty program, further enhancing their revenue streams.

    The Kohl's Business Model Canvas provides a comprehensive view of how the company creates, delivers, and captures value. It outlines key elements such as customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, and key partnerships. This canvas helps Kohl's identify and optimize its business strategies to meet customer needs effectively.

    However, in the highly competitive retail industry, Kohl's faces strong competitors such as Macy's, JCPenney, and Target. These companies strive to attract customers with similar product offerings, pricing strategies, and customer experiences. Kohl's must continuously innovate and differentiate itself to stay ahead in this competitive landscape.

    Conducting a SWOT analysis of Kohl's reveals its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Some of its strengths include a strong brand presence, a wide range of product offerings, and a loyal customer base. Weaknesses may include reliance on physical store locations and potential challenges in adapting to changing consumer preferences. Opportunities lie in expanding their online presence and leveraging technology to enhance customer experiences. However, threats such as increased competition and economic downturns should be carefully monitored.

    In conclusion, Kohl's is a dynamic retail company with a clear mission, a solid revenue generation model, and a competitive position in the market. By understanding its business model, competitors, and the various factors influencing its performance through SWOT analysis, Kohl's can continue to thrive and provide value to its customers in the ever-evolving retail landscape.


    What are the strengths of Kohls?

    Some of the strengths of Kohl's include:

    1. Strong brand recognition: Kohl's is a well-known retail brand with a presence in various markets across the United States. It has built a reputation for offering quality products at affordable prices.

    2. Wide product assortment: Kohl's offers a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, home goods, beauty products, and more. This diverse product assortment attracts a broad customer base.

    3. Strategic partnerships: Kohl's has successfully formed partnerships with various brands and designers, such as Levi's, Nike, and Lauren Conrad. These collaborations help attract customers looking for exclusive products and enhance the store's reputation.

    4. Customer loyalty program: Kohl's has a popular customer loyalty program called Kohl's Cash, where customers earn cash rewards for their purchases, which can be redeemed on future purchases. This program encourages repeat purchases and fosters customer loyalty.

    5. Online presence: Kohl's has developed a strong online presence and has invested in e-commerce capabilities, including a user-friendly website and mobile app. This allows customers to browse and shop conveniently from anywhere.

    6. Store locations: Kohl's operates in a wide range of locations, including both urban and suburban areas. This accessibility makes it convenient for customers to visit their stores.

    7. Promotions and discounts: Kohl's frequently offers promotions, discounts, and sales events, such as Black Friday and holiday sales. These incentives attract price-conscious customers and help drive sales.

    8. Strong customer service: Kohl's has a reputation for providing good customer service. Its employees are trained to assist shoppers and provide a positive shopping experience.

    9. Community involvement: Kohl's is actively involved in community initiatives, such as its Kohl's Cares program, which supports children's health and education. This community involvement enhances the brand's image and connects with customers on a deeper level.

    10. Strong financial performance: Kohl's has consistently reported strong financial performance, indicating its ability to adapt to market changes and maintain profitability. This financial stability is a strength that supports the company's growth and expansion plans.

    What are Kohls weaknesses?

    Some weaknesses of Kohl's include:

    1. Overreliance on sales and promotions: Kohl's often heavily relies on frequent sales and promotions to attract customers, which can erode profit margins and weaken brand perception.

    2. Limited product assortment: Compared to competitors like Macy's or Target, Kohl's may have a narrower product assortment, which can limit its appeal to a wider range of customers.

    3. Weak online presence: While Kohl's has made efforts to improve its e-commerce platform, it still lags behind online giants like Amazon or Walmart, which can impact its ability to compete in the digital retail space.

    4. Inability to differentiate: Kohl's struggles to establish a unique brand identity and often faces challenges in differentiating itself from other department stores, which can lead to increased competition and price wars.

    5. In-store experience: Some customers have reported that Kohl's stores can be cluttered, disorganized, and lacking in customer service, which can negatively impact the overall shopping experience.

    6. Reliance on mall locations: Many Kohl's stores are located in shopping malls, which have been experiencing declining foot traffic and decreasing popularity, making it harder for the company to attract customers.

    What are 5 examples of weakness in SWOT analysis?

    1. Lack of brand recognition: If a company is relatively unknown or has a weak brand image, it can be seen as a weakness in terms of competition and market positioning.

    2. Limited financial resources: Insufficient funds or access to capital can hinder a company's ability to invest in new technologies, expand operations, or compete aggressively with rivals.

    3. Dependence on a single supplier: Relying heavily on a single supplier for crucial inputs or resources can leave a company vulnerable to disruptions, such as price increases, quality issues, or supply chain disruptions.

    4. Inadequate workforce skills: A lack of skilled employees or the absence of specialized knowledge within the workforce can impede innovation, hinder productivity, and limit growth opportunities.

    5. Weak online presence: In today's digital era, having an ineffective or limited online presence can be a weakness, as it may hinder a company's ability to reach and engage with customers, drive sales, and compete in the online marketplace.

    How can I find a SWOT analysis on a company?

    There are a few different ways you can find a SWOT analysis on a company:

    1. Company websites: Start by visiting the official website of the company you are interested in. Many companies include a section on their website that provides information about their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

    2. Annual reports: Publicly traded companies are required to file annual reports with regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. These reports often contain a discussion of the company's SWOT analysis, providing insights into their current position and future prospects.

    3. Business databases: Online business databases such as Bloomberg, Hoovers, or MarketLine offer comprehensive information on companies, including SWOT analysis reports. These databases often require a subscription or may be available through your local library.

    4. Industry reports and market research: Market research reports and industry analyses often include SWOT analysis sections for major companies within a particular sector. You can search for these reports through market research firms or industry-specific publications.

    5. Business news and articles: Stay updated with business news sources, such as financial websites, industry-specific publications, and business magazines. They often publish articles that discuss the SWOT analysis of various companies, especially when there are significant events or changes within the company.

    Remember that SWOT analyses can vary depending on the source and may not always be publicly available. Additionally, conducting your own SWOT analysis based on publicly available information can be a valuable exercise in understanding a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

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