Sunday, July 17, 2005

"Yes We Can!"

I recently started a part-time summer job as a sales associate at the major retail store Kohl’s. Upon completing four days of training classes I was immediately impressed with the store’s customer service policy. Their philosophy concerning customer service is simply put, “Yes we can!” Should someone ask an associate to hold their purchases for four or five days the answer should be, “Yes we can!” Should a customer ask if they can be given a discount off of an item because it is missing a button the correct response is, “Yes we can!” Should another ask if they could have the recently advertised sale price on a product because they weren’t available to shop during the sale duration the associate answers, “Yes you can!”

Furthermore, a customer can return any Kohl’s purchase at any of the stores locations. The Kohl’s Associate Handbook states, “Kohl’s views customer service as the most important aspect of our business. Every decision that is made, whether at a Store, Distribution Center, or Corporate Office, is made with the customer’s needs in mind.” Basically the old adage “the customer is always right” truly does apply at Kohl’s.

Not only does Kohl’s have an excellent customer service policy, but it is among America’s fastest growing department stores. It began in Brookfield, Wisconsin in 1962 and became a publicly traded company in 1992. Kohl’s has since spread to most areas of the United States including most recently the mid-Atlantic and Southwest. In 1999 Kohl’s reported its fourth consecutive year of earnings growth over 30%. As you can tell, Kohl’s continues to grow at an impressive rate, both from opening new stores and from existing store sales increases. As my father always says, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” One of the biggest mistakes some companies make is going in and making changes when they are not needed. Kohl’s is a solid company that in my opinion does not need change.

In addition, the family-oriented company dedicates its charity efforts to improving health and educational opportunities for children in its communities. This is accomplished through the store’s Kohl’s Cares for Kids Program. Kohl’s also supports community programs such as the United Way and offers many additional benefits to its associates.

Kohl’s trades on the New York Stock Exchange, ticker symbol KSS. It is currently trading at about $58 per share. Kohl’s is part of the Standard & Poors Top 500 Index.

Courtney Tucker