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January 10, 2007


I am so proud of all you did here. The slidehow is so well done--and you culled all our comments (how cool and kind of you). You did the right thing in reaching out to Kohl's...you gave them a fair shake to own the problem and, as my quote says, "use this as an opportunity".

And they blew it. Times Two.

Bad enough to have their stores in disarray but to not jump on this and give you the sterile "I'm sorry" speech just almost, to your point, makes them look worse. But it makes you SHINE--and you/we marketers can use this slideshow and your follow-up action to teach others. So maybe not all is lost. Plus the NRF is citing your good acts; that's huge!

But, my patronage to Kohl's is definitely shot. Tho' admittedly I don't know if we have one in NYC. BRILLIANT job.

Great job Paul. The slideshow says so much- both in what it says and doesn't say.

The response from Kohl's is tepid at best. Like my bad experience with Saturn, it's essentially a form letter to brush you off.

They had a chance and...well, blew it.

Just use your new-found fame and popularity for good and not evil.

There really is an art to suchking meaning out of the language ... and the corporations with their form letters and formalised responses are bleeding us dry.

Do you think you can raise a pulse, Dr Hee-Haw?

Looks like we lost another one ;(

Nice work on this Paul.

I just pointed the BC to this post. Again, excellent execution for all of us to benefit from.

Can we add music to the slideshow?

I'm thinking of Sarah McLaclan's "Train Wreck" or how about Devo's "Big Mess"???

I think Gavin's right. This one may be DOA.

Astounding show and documentation, Paul. What a shame that the response from Kohl's is so empty. I'm a saddened because they are moving into our market soon. If this is truly an example of ALL the stores it will come as no surprise when they are no more. Simply put - there are far too many options that offer better value.

On one of the slides Mack Collier asks "if you were CMO what would you do?". First would be to call you and thank you for bringing attention to the store. Second would be to contact the VP Public Relations and ask what they were thinking about? A voicemail message? Third, I'd go to as many Kohl's stores I could in the next 30 days. Evaluate and then execute a plan to get it fixed.

Paul .. great slideshow!

If I were a retail CMO (Kohl's or not), I would duplicate this exercise and show it to my staff. You really bring the disconnect from fancy words and reality into sharp relief.

This all just shows the incredible need to reinvent marketing. Real marketing. Real customer service. Stop investing in ads; invest in what matters most to people. The *experience*.

Good work Paul! The mess starts with "management management" - the idiots who never leave the home office and get into the stores. Then the district managers (who in almost every case should be shot) and then the store managers who have not given their people ownership or empowered them to handle the problems, make decisions on their feet and most importantly provide CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Retail has forgotten to service the customer - and customers have noticed. (Insert whining Christmastime retail sob stories about sales being down...waahhhh.)

A tidbit from Macy's in downtown Boston - the financial district to be exact, where nearly 500,000 well-compensated people work within a walking mile of Macy's. Here's a test for you. Visit Macy's downtown Boston at lunch time - when the working world shops (between Noon - 2pm.) Now look for a cashier. Don't look hard, they aren't there. Now find a manager and inquire where the cashiers are. Maintain a straight face and stifle the WTF when you are told the cashiers are at lunch. Nice business model. Pure, savant-level genius.

Give it til after Valentine's Day and do a follow up at the same store. I'd love to see if there was some improvement.

Lori- I could just kiss you for that! That is a perfect analogy.

Yes Paul, Cam's right, go back in a few more weeks/ month and see if the store looks any better. Dimes to donuts, I'm willing to bet it won't be any better... but that's just me and I'm a savant-level genius (I love thatone Lori).

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