How one department store is defying the curse plaguing Macy's and JCPenney

Many department stores are expected to struggle this holiday season as customers spend on electronics instead of apparel.

One retailer, Kohl’s, is bucking that trend.

Retail research company SCM World said it expects Kohl’s to be one of the big winners of the holiday season.

Macy’s, JCPenney, and Neiman Marcus all landed in the “losers” category, along with Staples and Big Lots.

Kohl’s is one retailer that has managed to engage customers beyond the in-store experience — its digital platforms and e-commerce channels are strong.

“Kohl’s has made investments to compete in a true omni-channel strategy. One in which the store is viewed as a strategic asset rather than just a point of sale,” Patrick Van Hull, a Vice President of research at SCM World, said in an email to Business Insider.

Adapting to a digital mode is absolutely crucial, as it’s one of the few ways for retailers to save themselves from the dire future of shopping malls, many of which house department stores.

Van Hull explained how Kohl’s is implementing a new version of e-commerce, which he calls “experiential commerce,” which includes engaging customers when they’re shopping through technology. Van Hull pointed to Kohl’s “social listening and store-specific promotions.”

An example of that might be using Twitter to promote an exclusive sale.

This is absolutely crucial, especially Kohl’s wants to cater to young people. In fact, teens prefer to shop on their phones, Generation Z expert Nancy Nessel told Business Insider this fall.

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