Kohl’s Confirms Receipt of Takeover Offers Amid Turnaround Efforts
Kohl’s came under fire from activist investor Macellum Advisors, when on January 18, the company, which holds nearly 5% of the outstanding common shares of Kohl’s, issued an open letter to its fellow shareholders.
“Macellum ran a campaign last year highlighting what we felt was the board’s material mismanagement of the company and inability to create value,” the letter said. “Now, almost one year later, the company’s shares have significantly underperformed its retail peers and it is clear to us that our criticism was accurate.”
On Sunday, WSJ reported Engine Capital sent another letter urging Kohl’s to run sale process following Starboard Value bid.
Kohl’s has made some changes in recent years. It forged partnerships with Sephora and Amazon, added curbside pickup, and launched a new loyalty program.
Kohl’s completed its nationwide rollout of its Amazon returns program in 2019, where shoppers can return Amazon orders in stores and Kohl’s will pack, label and ship the return for free.Last year, Kohl’s opened the first “Sephora at Kohl’s” experience with plans to open at least 850 in Kohl’s stores by 2023.
“As we've said from the beginning, this is a game-changing partnership for us,” Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass said on the retailer’s earnings call last November. “In short, Sephora at Kohl's is working.”
Gass noted that more than 25% of Sephora at Kohl's shoppers are new to Kohl's and they are younger and more diverse. She also noted roughly half of customers buying Sephora are attaching at least one other category in their purchase across all lines of business.
“Our efforts to reposition Kohl's are working,” Gass said to open the call. “All of the pieces of our strategy are coming together, and we remain incredibly confident in our future,” she later noted.