A case of Merchandise planning and allocation at Kohl’s

Kohl’s Corporation is an American department store chain, headquartered in Menomonee falls, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. The company operates 929 stores in 47 states. Kohl’s mission, as stated in the store and online is to be the leading value oriented, family focused, specialty department store. Based on 2005 revenue, Kohl’s is the 23rd largest retailer in the United States. The company entered the S & P 500 list in 1998 and is also listed in the Fortune 500 (#152 in 2007).

Kohl’s mission is to be the leading family focused value oriented specialty department store, offering quality exclusive and national brand merchandise to the customer in an environment that is convenient, friendly and exciting. The focus on lifestyle merchandising is designed to meet the objective of increasing market share by expanding the appeal to a broader range of customers.

The company market and brand strategies and purchasing product assortments:

1) Determining market and brand strategies and purchasing product assortments.
2) Implementing and executing financial plans
3) Selecting content for advertising circulars
4) Analyzing store sales and inventory levels
5) Monitoring business trends to maximize sales opportunities.

Other departments include – Merchandise Planning & Allocation, which works closely with the stores and the eight plus distribution centers to make sure northern stores are fully stocked with parkas when southern stores still sport sandals and shorts.

Merchandise planning & Allocation is also responsible for new store expansion. This team analyses new markets, determines the entry strategy, and then looks at each market after opening to assess the ongoing position by business category. They also analyze exiting markets, looking for opportunities to drive sales trough business intensification.

Departmental responsibilities include:

1) allocating fashion merchandise
2) buying / replenishing basic merchandise
3) implementing presentation programs for private label goods and branded merchandise shops.
4) Maintaining unit inventory integrity
5) Communicating with stores for merchandise availability

The Merchandise Information Office (MIO) ensures that they have the tools they need to execute their key buying and planning responsibilities. MIO Associates partner with Merchandising, planning and Allocation, Product Development Merchandise presentation, E-Commerce and Information Services (IS) to define business requirements for process and system enhancements and new applications. MIO works with each determine the appropriate training, documentation and application support for our users.

MIO also trains all Merchant Associates and offers over 300 classes per year. MIO trains the merchandise Specialist and Merchandise Analyst Trainee. They’re also responsible for the training involved for the Assistant Buyer Prep Program, Planner Prep Program and the Product Development Training Programs.

Kohl’s Product Development association provide start to finish management for all Kohl’s private brands including Sonoma LIFE + style, Croft & barrow apt 9, First Moments, SO, Urban Pipeline and Tek gear. As well as Kohl’s exclusive brands; simply Vera Vera Wang. Food Network Elle and Tony Hawk. Product Developer spend their days as quick change artists metamorphosing from designer to brand manager, without missing a beat. These versatile associates are responsible for designing styles, developing technical product specifications, selecting manufacturers overseeing quality control and helping to craft strong to store presentation and marketing plans.

From a brand management perspective, these staffers are constantly looking through the eyes of Kohl’s customers, making sure we’re meeting their expectations for quality, price and styling every new product offered by a Kohl’s brand.

Product Development associates rely on unparallel communication and teamwork kills to help tem get the job done. Often, this department works with overseas manufacturers and supplier, requiring a strong awareness of cultural differences and superb listening skills. Good planning know how is must have as well as solid sense of style, fashion and color.

Departmental responsibilities include overseeing all private Kohl’s brand need like:

1) design
2) sourcing
3) manufacturing
4) production and quality control
5) brand management