Kohl’s Testing Self-Checkout and Self-Returns In Stores

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
Lisa Johnston profile picture

Kohl’s is experimenting with both self-checkout and self-returns in its stores as it builds out its omnichannel experiences and streamlines operations.  

The company reported a comp sales decrease of 13.3% in the third quarter as it continues to face pandemic-prompted challenges. Digital sales, however, were up 25% for the period and represented 32% of the total sales. Stores supporting much of the growth by fulfilling nearly 40% of the digital sales.

The retailer’s omnichannel customer is six times more productive than a digital-only customer and four times times more productive than a store-only customer, CEO Michelle Gass said in an investors call.

Kohl’s currently offers consumers the opportunity to return Amazon purchases, and Gass said they continue to be pleased with the initiative. It’s also currently experimenting with self-service returns and plans to scale the technology to more stores in 2021.

Despite this focus on digital growth, Kohl’s maintains its view of its stores as a significant asset, and it’s currently piloting a new Wellness Market concept in 50 stores and online. The concept serves as a testing ground for products with a sustainable bent, including home, beauty, personal wellness, baby and pet care.

“This umbrella of wellness affords us the opportunity to experiment with many different products and we are already getting good initial insight into areas like baby, pet and household supplies,” said Gass. “Our strategy gives us a clear lane to experiment, and we are excited to pursue many new opportunities."

More on Returns Management