In an effort to get customers to stick around a bit longer, Kohl’s is testing upscale Caribou Coffee cafes, with espresso drinks and other fare, in two stores near its Milwaukee-Area headquarters.
Several retailers have turned to cafes or small restaurants in stores to get customers to linger. Uniqlo in New York features Starbucks outlets, Target is revamping its food concessions to be more cafe-like, and of course Ikea is famous for the Swedish meatballs at its store cafeterias.
The experiment comes as Kohl’s is having trouble getting its turnaround efforts to stick.
Kohl’s chief merchandising and customer officer Michelle Gass came from Starbucks, but the idea of a cafe in a department store is hardly new. It’s also not a bad idea.
The discount department store retailer is making a lot of the right moves, with merchandise and a revamped beauty counter that are nods to what the customer wants. The problem is more that Target, Macy’s, and a host of other off-price stores are also competing fiercely on the same field.
But Kohl’s is determined to remain a player on that field, says Jon Grosso, Kohl’s EVP, director of stores
“Kohl’s is committed to providing an easy and inspiring shopping experience and part of this includes exploring new or different ways to engage our customers and their families within our stores,” he said in a statement.