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10/28/2021

Kohl's ups digital spend for the holidays, own brands to be featured

Leadership at Kohl's discussed its holiday plans, including new own brands, and a robust program leveraging Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram and more.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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FLX, Kohl's athleisure brand that launched in spring, expects to be a big part of the retailer's holiday plans, along with an enhanced digital marketing program and social shopping that represents more than half of its budget for the season.

In a recent video call, Kohl’s shared its upcoming holiday strategy, including how its own brands and exclusive items will play a part. Kohl’s leadership spoke on what customers can expect from the retail chain in the coming months as holiday shopping ramps up.

“I’m really confident that with our agile model, we’ll be able to deliver our customers’ needs this holiday season,” Doug Howe, chief merchandising officer at Kohl’s. “Our digital team has been working hard to continue to drive more enhancements on our digital platform. We’ve dramatically streamlined our product portfolio, and at the same time introduced new national brands, and we’ve formed an incredibly strong partnership with Sephora. The assortment is really going to excite our customers this holiday season.”

a person standing posing for the camera

Howe said that the company has four key sales-driving areas that are being addressed this holiday season: active, home, women’s and new brands.

“We have great partnerships with the ‘big four’ (Nike, Under Armour, Adidas and Champion) in active wear that are just getting stronger,” he said. “But in addition to that we have a strong proprietary portfolio as well. The most recent addition to that is our FLX brand which we launched in the spring, and based on initial results, we’re excited to be able to roll that out for the holidays.”

The women’s section of the athleisure category, along with the plus-sized merchandise, is expected to drive the most growth. In home decor, three pillars driving growth are gathering, gifting, and cozy.

New exclusive brands that will be available at Kohl’s this year include Sonoma Goods for Life, LC Lauren Conrad, SO and more.

On the call, Kohl’s unveiled its new “Give with all your Heart” marketing campaign, and will be increasing ad spending with digital channels like Univision and FreeForm, along with new ads during NFL and college football games.

“Our digital spending is going to be really big this year, it’s well over half of our total marketing spending for this season,” Greg Revelle, chief marketing officer. “We’re shifting our investments into growing channels.”

Kohl’s will leverage content creators this season across Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. Each platform will showcase a variety of holiday traditions and celebrations that consumers can tap into for inspiration.

“Our digital spending is going to be really big this year, it’s well over half of our total marketing spending for this season."
Greg Revelle , chief marketing officer

Partnering with Pinterest, Kohl's will create an immersive shoppable experience that allows Pinners to explore Kohl's products in decorated home settings for the holiday season. Kohl’s will tap into TikTok to create a challenge centered around music and dance, encouraging consumers to share their own dances, inspired by the company’s holiday brand spot. 

To showcase key holiday events such as Black Friday, Kohl’s will use Instagram Live to share real-time gifting inspiration making it easy to purchase in the moment. New this year, live shopping will also expand to TikTok with content focused on helping consumers create shopping lists for big events and prep for the holidays.