What Happens to Unsold Clothes at Kohl’s? The Surprising Lifecycle of Kohl’s Inventory

Local Business


Besedky Team

What Happens to Unsold Clothes at Kohl’s? The Surprising Lifecycle of Kohl’s Inventory:Are you curious about what happens to all the clothes that don’t get sold at Kohl’s? Well, you’re in luck because today we’re diving into the fascinating lifecycle of unsold clothing at this popular retailer. From their global sourcing practices to their inventory management strategies, we’ll uncover the secrets behind how Kohl’s handles these garments. And if you’ve ever wondered what happens to all those returned and tried-on clothes, we’ll explore that too. Plus, we’ll compare Kohl’s retail strategies to those of a giant like Walmart and discuss the future of department stores like Kohl’s. So, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to learn all about the hidden world of unsold clothing at Kohl’s. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this!

The Lifecycle of Unsold Clothing at Kohl’s

The fashion and retail industries are fast-paced environments where trends come and go with the seasons. This cycle often results in a surplus of unsold merchandise, leaving retailers with the challenge of managing inventory that fails to find a buyer. Kohl’s, a well-known department store chain, is no stranger to this issue. In navigating the fate of unsold clothing, Kohl’s employs several strategies.

Warehouse Storage and Seasonal Reshuffling

One of the initial steps taken by Kohl’s and similar retailers involves holding unsold merchandise in warehouses. This practice allows these items to be reintroduced during a more opportune time, such as a corresponding season in the following year. By cycling unsold inventory back onto the shelves, retailers can provide a broader selection without the immediate need to discount items heavily, thereby preserving potential profits.

Outlet Stores and Clearance Sections

Retailers like Kohl’s often send excess inventory to their own outlet stores, where items can be sold at a reduced price without diluting the brand’s perceived value in their flagship stores. Additionally, setting up clearance sections and holding clearance sales within their regular stores is a common strategy to encourage customers to purchase these items. This approach helps to clear out inventory while still recouping some revenue.

Recycling Fabric for New Clothing

Environmental sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers, and retailers are responding. Some stores have begun recycling the fabric from unsold clothes to create new items. This not only reduces waste but also provides a green initiative that can enhance the store’s image among eco-conscious shoppers.

Disposal and Destruction: A Wasteful Reality

Despite the more sustainable options available, the unfortunate truth is that many retailers, at times, resort to disposing of or destroying unsold inventory. This practice leads to vast amounts of textile waste in landfills or even the burning of merchandise, which is harmful to the environment. Retailers face criticism for this approach, which is seen as a failure to responsibly manage unsold products.

Returning Merchandise to Suppliers

If unsold merchandise is still in good condition and falls within a specific return window, retailers like Kohl’s may opt to return it to the supplier. This can result in a refund or credit, which helps the store mitigate losses associated with unsold goods.

Charitable Donations: Giving Back

Another avenue for unsold items is donation. Stores may choose to donate clothes to charity organizations, providing much-needed resources to those in need while also clearing out inventory. It’s a win-win for the retailer and the community, enhancing the brand’s reputation for social responsibility.

Kohl’s Global Sourcing and Its Impact on Inventory Management

Sourcing from Around the World

Kohl’s, like many large retailers, sources clothing from various countries, including Bangladesh, Korea, Haiti, Vietnam, and India. This global supply chain can complicate inventory management due to varying lead times and the complexities of international logistics. However, it also provides the retailer with cost benefits and a diverse range of products.

Handling Returned and Tried-On Clothing

The Fate of Returned Clothes

Returned clothes at Kohl’s do not go back up for sale. This policy is often due to concerns about the condition of the item once it has left the store. Unfortunately, this means that many returned clothes may end up in landfills, contributing to the growing issue of textile waste.

Dealing with Clothes That Have Been Tried On

For clothes that have been tried on, the approach is to put them back on the racks if they are still in good condition. Discounted pricing might be offered to facilitate a quicker sale. Donating to charities or selling to third-party liquidators are other options for these items.

Comparing Retail Strategies: Kohl’s vs. Walmart

Walmart’s Approach to Returned Items

Walmart, another retail giant, manages returned items through its Official Walmart Liquidation Auctions Marketplace. This platform allows the company to recover value from returned and excess inventory by auctioning it off in bulk to resellers and small businesses.

The Future of Department Stores Like Kohl’s

Market Pressures and Potential Closures

Recent analysis by UBS analysts suggests that department stores, including Kohl’s, could face significant challenges in 2023. With sales stalling in 2022 and a flat rate of store closures since early 2021, analysts predict that companies like Kohl’s and Nordstrom may be “under pressure” in the first half of the year. This pressure could lead to a new wave of department store closures.

Conclusion: The Importance of Sustainable Practices

In conclusion, the fate of unsold clothing at Kohl’s is managed through a variety of strategies, from warehousing and reintroduction to recycling and donations. While some practices raise environmental concerns, others reflect a growing commitment to sustainability. As the retail landscape evolves and the pressure on department stores mounts, it will be increasingly important for retailers like Kohl’s to adopt responsible and sustainable practices that resonate with consumers and protect the environment.

In the era of informed consumerism, the choices made by retailers will not only affect their bottom line but also their brand image and legacy. It is imperative that retailers such as Kohl’s continue to innovate and embrace more eco-friendly solutions to manage their unsold inventory, setting an example for the industry and contributing to a more sustainable future.

FAQ & Common Questions about What Does Kohls Do With The Clothes They Don’t Sell?

Q: What happens to clothes that are tried on in stores?
A: If the clothes are still in good condition, stores may put them back on the racks for sale. Alternatively, they may offer them at a discounted price to encourage sales. Some stores also donate unsold clothing to charity organizations or sell them to third-party liquidators.

Q: Where does Walmart sell their returned items?
A: Walmart sells their returned items on the Official Walmart Liquidation Auctions Marketplace.

Q: Do stores throw away returned clothes?
A: Yes, in many cases, returned clothes find their way to landfills instead of being put back up for sale. Manufacturers do not simply dust them off and resell them.

Q: Which brands did Kohl’s get rid of?
A: Kohl’s has decided to exit eight downtrending women’s private brands. The brands leaving Kohl’s stores include Dana Buchman, Jennifer Lopez, Mudd, Candies, Rock & Republic, Popsugar, Elle, and Juicy Couture.

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