Posting financial results that prove its comeback strategy is starting to take hold, Kohl’s is teaming up with PopSugar to introduce a new clothing line set to debut this fall.
But the deal is about more than just what to wear: Kohl's says the partnership with PopSugar, a pop-culture website that has morphed into a favorite merchandising machine for Millennial women, is also part of its efforts to boost marketing insights. Kohl’s says it will use PopSugar’s “data and analytics to incorporate millennial customer intelligence. Kohl’s strategy is to increase its millennial-focused offering through relevant brands, amazing product, elevated experience, and personalized marketing.”
The news comes as Kohl’s released its fiscal first-quarter earnings, reporting that sales, which rose 3.5% to $4.2 billion, compared with $4.01 billion in the same period a year ago, climbed 3.6% on a comparable store basis. Net income jumped 14% to $75 million.
The Menomonee Falls, Wisc.-based retailer credits the strong showing to a strong focus on “driving traffic and operational excellence.” It also upped its financial forecast for the full year.
Kohl's says the PopSugar deal is part of that effort and hopes it can draw more Millennials, especially parents, to its stores. “This partnership is an illustration of how Kohl’s can attract and serve this customer with a unique experience that couples compelling new product with an engaging shopping and marketing experience,” says Greg Revelle, Kohl’s senior executive vice president and CMO, in the announcement. “Partnering with PopSugar allows us to connect with Millennials in a credible, authentic and meaningful way.”
The retailer has also been attracting new customers through its small-scale partnership with Amazon, offering customers an easy way to return Amazon goods, as well as a closer look at its smart-home devices.
Another sign that Kohl’s is on the right track comes from a new report from Engagement Labs, which monitors offline (face-to-face) and online (social media) consumer conversations,
Engagement Labs says conversations about brands drive about 19% of U.S. consumer purchases. “Kohl's has such strong offline sentiment that it's a close second to Amazon throughout the year,” it says.
“Similarly to Macy's, it surpasses Amazon for offline sentiment during the critical holiday shopping season. Over the last several years, Kohl's has invested in an aggressive omnichannel strategy which motivates brand sharing and both online and offline discussion. For example, mobile now accounts for 67% of its online traffic.”