Exclusive: Kohl’s CEO puts comeback plan into high gear


Kohl’s has lost its mojo, and CEO Kevin Mansell has a plan for getting it back.

Up until a few years ago, Kohl’s [fortune-stock symbol=”KSS”] was one of the fastest-growing companies in retail history, winning over legions of shoppers with popular, affordable brands, good customer service and neat, well laid-out stores away from malls and closer to where shoppers live.

Then somewhere along the way, the mid-tier department store lost its way, culminating with comparable sales declines in 2013 that have continued into this year, along with shrinking profits.

Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell concedes the company caused many of its own problems. Among them: inadvertently sending customers to competitors by missing out on exploding areas of retail such as beauty and a card rewards program that didn’t reach enough of its customers.

So now, Mansell, a 32-year company veteran and CEO since 2008, is looking to kickstart growth through what…

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