The grocery store giant Aldi and department store giant Kohl’s are teaming up to make shopping easier.
Department stores such as JC Penny and Sears (among others) have been on life support the last few years and are looking for new ways to physically bring people back into their stores.
Kohl’s and Aldi’s have entered into a new partnership in an attempt to utilize each other’s competitive advantages for their mutual benefit. Kohl’s is known for their low priced apparel, small appliances and kitchen ware. Aldi’s is known for their low priced produce, private labeled items and impressive wine selection.
The hope is that creating “One Convenient Stop” for consumers will prove profitable for both companies. Kind of like a Walmart but hopefully for a slightly different clientele.
The two chains will be located side-by-side with open pathways between the two so that the customers can easily stroll between both locations. There is a pilot location already up and running Waukesha, Wisconsin and more than 2,500 locations are planned by 2020.
Will this new “One Convenient Stop “ plan be enough to compete with the Targets of the world and save the department store business model? I’m not so sure.
Combining the “One Convenient Stop” business plan with an “Order Online, In store Pick Up” option I think is the only way to save the retail department store.
Most of the retail industry learned over the past couple holiday shopping seasons that the way to compete with 2 day delivery e-commerce (i.e. Amazon Prime) is with “In Store Pick Ups.” This allows the chains to use their already existing conveniently located locations to their advantage. And hopefully sell some complimentary goods as well.
Retail chains such as Target, Office Depot, Best Buy, Home Depot and even grocery stores such as Kroger, have all invested heavily into “In Store Pick Up” with tremendous success.
The days of customers going into a department store with plenty of time to leisurely stroll around the store are numbered. Consumers today are more hurried and pressed for time than ever. Instant gratification is key! (I think the blame goes back to “instant coffee”)
They don’t want to spend time navigating for a particular size or model of a product only to learn from poorly trained sales staff that the model they are looking for is not in stock. Then, even if they are successful in finding the right product, searching to an open cash register without a long wait time can be a challenge.
No word yet on whether or not Kohl’s Cash will be able to be used on Aldi’s wine or beer selections…
What do you think of the new Kohl’s / Aldi endeavor? Do you think it can work? Would you shop at one of these locations over other options?