Kohl’s (KSS) will keep its doors open for more than seven days straight before Christmas in a move that shows just how tough the holiday season has been for retailers.
The mid-tier department store said on Tuesday that stores would open at 7 a.m. on Thursday and remain open around the clock for the 170 hours leading up to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, touting the extra hours as “an added convenience to holiday shoppers.”
But the fact that Kohl’s is adding 70 hours to its final blitz compared to last year when it stayed open for 100 hours is a clear indication that the retailer is leaving nothing to chance this year.
While Kohl’s made big strides in its e-commerce over Black Friday weekend, saying it had its biggest online days that week, it is a department store that relies heavily on apparel sales (Kohl’s gets 60% of it business from apparel), a segment that has been hurting because of the record mild temperatures in the Eastern half of the country since Thanksgiving.
What’s more, Amazon (AMZN) has been enjoying a banner holiday season, despite valiant efforts by Target (TGT) and Walmart (WMT) and Kohl’s, among others, to improve their e-commerce. The online only retailer generated 36% of all online sales on Cyber Monday, according to Slice Intelligence estimates.
Brick-and-mortar rivals have also been very aggressive: J.C. Penney (JCP) for instance opened stores at 3 p.m. on Black Friday, showing that retailers have been willing to sacrifice some of their profit margin to win sales.
Kohl’s reported comparable sales rose 1% last quarter, a performance it is under pressure to improve on if it wants to convince investors its turnaround has legs.