Kohl’s Cuts Corporate Jobs to Save $65 Million

The layoffs will “further align [Kohl’s] cost base in response to the business impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic."
Matthew HellerSeptember 16, 2020

Hundreds of Kohl’s employees lost their jobs on Tuesday as the retailer slashed its corporate workforce, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kohl’s said it expects to save about $65 million annually through the reduction of its corporate positions by about 15%. It did not release the number of positions affected but thousands of people work in the corporate staff.

The layoffs will “further align [Kohl’s] cost base in response to the business impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

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Kohl’s previously eliminated around 250 positions in February as part of a pre-pandemic corporate restructuring.

The pandemic forced Kohl’s to temporarily close all of its more than 1,100 stores this spring. The stores have reopened but revenue slipped 23.1% to $3.4 billion in the second quarter

Kohl’s has said sales have stabilized around 75% of their typical volume and it expects demand to remain lower for the remainder of 2020. Its online sales jumped 58% in online sales in the second quarter as it introduced a curbside pick-up option but the surge in e-commerce hurt its margins due to higher-than-expected shipping charges.

According to Kohl’s spokeswoman Jen Johnson, the company’s balance sheet and strong cash position will help it navigate the COVID crisis. It is also seeking to capitalize on shifts in customer habits and the disruption in the retail industry.

“The organizational changes we’ve made and keen focus on our strategic business priorities will continue to support our long-term success,” she said.

In trading Tuesday, Kohl’s shares fell 1% to $23.13, bringing its losses for the year to date to 53%.