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New CMO at Kohl’s Can Build Stronger Customer Engagement

Greg Revelle, who made quite a name or himself at Best Buy, is now the new CMO at Kohl’s.

Kohl’s endured a disappointing fiscal fourth quarter, in which comparable sales fell 2.2 percent and net income sank 15 percent, to $252 million. Declines in brick-and-mortar traffic negatively impacted sales, CEO Kevin Mansell noted.

Revelle’s hire marks Kohl’s first CMO since Julie Gardner stepped down in 2012. He will report directly to Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief merchandising and customer officer.

“Greg will be a strong addition to our senior leadership team,” said Gass. “He is uniquely experienced in reaching customers in more relevant and personal ways. We are excited to have him lead our efforts in driving omnichannel traffic, building strong customer engagement, and leveraging data-driven insights to create powerful customer interactions. Greg and the marketing team will elevate and accelerate our loyalty and personalization efforts to help reach our goal of becoming the most engaging retailer in America.”

Revelle will be responsible for Kohl’s marketing organization and overall marketing strategy, including the company’s focus on driving customer engagement through analytics, enhancing the loyalty platform, accelerating customer traffic and continuing to build Kohl’s overall brand position.

“I am excited to join Kohl’s and be part of such a strong brand with a great culture,” said Revelle. “In serving millions of families across the country, Kohl’s has deep connections with its customers and is well-positioned to be a leader in loyalty and personalized marketing. I’m energized by all of the opportunity ahead.”

Prior to joining Kohl’s, Revelle was the chief marketing officer at Best Buy Co., Inc., responsible for marketing, customer strategy, brand positioning and execution across all channels and customer touch points. He led efforts to redefine Best Buy’s brand positioning and customer strategy, championed a shift to digital and personalized customer communications, developed sophisticated analytics capabilities, and drove significant growth in the company’s loyalty program. Prior to Best Buy, Revelle served as chief marketing officer at AutoNation. Before that, he was vice president of worldwide online marketing at Expedia, Inc. and an investment banker at Credit Suisse.

In 2014, Kohl’s launched Yes2You Rewards, intended to drive a deeper and more personalized relationship and shopping experience for customers at Kohl’s stores and Kohls.com.

Yes2You Rewards provides customers with more savings opportunities, as points can now be earned for every purchase. By allowing points to be accrued through both in-store and online purchases, Kohl’s aims to facilitate a seamless, omnichannel experience that is increasingly tailored as the customers engage with the program.
Clay Walton-House, principal and head of the global customer loyalty and retention practice at Lenati, believes Revelle is a great hire for Kohl’s.

“In his time at Best Buy, Revelle presided over one of the greatest retail turnaround stories of the past few years,” Walton-House told Loyalty360. “Best Buy has taken major steps to revitalize its business through a significant shift toward customer-centric operations and innovative business models, from a deeper focus on services and in-store experiences to personalization, and more advanced customer analytics.”

Kohl’s has made some investments in its digital experiences over the past few years, such as its rewards program, Walton-House noted, “but seems to be yearning for a more expansive shift in how it approaches customer strategy and growth. At a time when the department store model is under major pressure, Revelle will no doubt bring some fantastic proof points from his time at Best Buy that can perhaps begin to turn the tide in Kohl’s favor.”

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