Department Store U-Turn on Jewelry Sales

Department Store U-Turn on Jewelry Sales

Kohl’s, the US retail chain, aims to sell more jewelry in its almost 1,200 department stores.

It represents something of a U-turn for the company, three years after it reduced its jewelry offering and gave over store space to Sephora, the cosmetics retailer, instead.

But after a disappointing first-quarter earnings report – net sales fell 5.3 per cent year-over-year to $3.2bn – Kohl’s said it now plans to expand its jewelry presence.

Our jewelry business is a huge, huge opportunity for us. We’ve lost a lot of business with the Sephora rollout overall,” CEO Tom Kingsbury said in an earnings call transcribed by The Motley Fool.

“Over the past two years, as we made space for Sephora in our stores, we did not do a good job of retaining our jewelry sales, which have been on a consistent sales decline.

“We know there is still an opportunity to offer jewelry to our customers, especially during key events and holidays in the year.

“We are currently working to re-establish our presence, which will include expanding our in-store assortment and improving its in-store positioning by placing it near Sephora.”

In October 2020, Kingsbury’s predecessor Michelle Gass said that shrinking its offering of fine jewelry, as well as handbags and men’s suits, would make space to increase inventory of healthier categories.

“That gives us the flexibility to lean into growth categories, test, learn, iterate—kill what’s not working, scale what is,” she said at the time.

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