Before the coronavirus began spreading across the United States, Kohl's was preparing to share a new turnaround plan with Wall Street. But the pandemic switched the goal from "grow" to "survive" as the country shut down. Now, Kohl's is hoping the worst is behind it. It is releasing the details of the new turnaround plan, which it hopes will return the department store retailer to growth. The plan involves an increased focus on activewear and national brands such as Nike and TOMS, with a corresponding shift away from many of its store brands. Kohl's has taken a big hit from its fashion stumbles in recent years, and by shifting away from fashion and placing emphasis on "active and casual", the retailer hopes to dodge the apparel industry's pandemic-era troubles.
Apparel spending has been one of the biggest victims of the pandemic. Shielding Kohl's from the worst of the clothing armageddon buffeting other department stores and specialty clothing chains is activewear from brands like Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas.