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Kohl's Department Store / working conditions at kohl's dept. stores

1 Suwanee, GA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 678-474-4993

Here's the gist of my complaint:

*Kohl's understaffs their stores... 15 people for a 88, 000 Square Ft Building. One... yes one, maintenance guy for the day and one at night.
*When employed, if they want to fire you, they don't... they just remove you off the schedule and give you less and less hours each week. (saves them unemployment $).
*Saftey violations everywhere.
*Aggressive credit card push... every 15-20 minutes over the loud speaker, telling you to open an account. Every morning in a meeting they emphasize credit, credit and credit... nothing about customer service. People are literally pushed in to opening an account.
*Sweatshop conditions... check out the website or cut and paste:, to check out the pictures for yourself...

Kohls gets less than 1 star for ethics, honesty and value. If you opened an account, simply call or contact them to close the account like I did. Kohl's Charge Card Customer Service Please direct any questions concerning your Kohl's Charge Card to this toll free number:

Phone Toll-Free:

Regular Hours:
8am to 11pm, EDT, Monday through Saturday
10am to 11pm, EDT, Sunday

Please send your Kohl's Charge payment to:

Kohl's Payment Center
PO Box 2983
Milwaukee, WI [protected]

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  • Ji
      29th of Aug, 2008

    Agree totally, I used to work at Kohl's and found the same conditions! Looks like it's company policy :).

    +1 Votes
  • Cr
      21st of Sep, 2008

    Unfortunately I am still working at a Kohls, they are always understaffed, they make me feel like I'm inconveniencing them whenever I have to change my schedule, they always expect you to find someone to take your hours, isn't that their job? I think they do it to make you feel guilty for not being able to follow the schedule they hand out, Why don't they hire more people? I have a long drive home and do you think they take that into consideration when they make you stay pass your scheduled time, I almost had a accident after having to do four closing in one week. I enjoy working with the customers but I don't like the way I'm being treated in that store and I don't think they care.

    +3 Votes
  • Em
      21st of Nov, 2008

    I HATE working for Kohl's. In this bad economy, I can't get another job right now. I hate closing and being forced to stay way past 2 a.m. when I have family waiting for me at home. I hate having to cover more than one department and dealing with sloppy customers, PLUS running to the registers as a back up cashier. I hate the managers bad attitudes. I also really hate the push for credit. Rumor has it that the managers get a nice bonus at the end of the year if they make credit. I can see that. They are OBSESSED with it. I HATE KOHL'S!!!

    +5 Votes
  • Fr
      19th of Feb, 2009
    Kohl's Folsom, California - Electronic Funds Payment
    United States

    Kohl's accepted my Electronic Funds Transfer, yet when they couldn't process they charged me $25 as if it were a check return. No email no communication. No reversal of charge. Nothing.

    Their credit card system sucks, Watch Out! They are very much out to cheat their customers. I was a brand new customer no bad history nothing. I paid it off and closed the account.

    Kohl's is bad news!

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      2nd of Mar, 2009

    I started working at Kohl's in October 2005 and JUST a month ago got out. I searched high and low for jobs, even applying to places like kkmart just so I could stop hearing the word "Kohls" and hearing the kohl's ladies voice over the intercom. I worked for 2 different stores and the management was like exact replicas of each other, like the twilight zone, I swear. They couldn't care less about their workers. They hire people but the rate was for every 6 they hired 1 or 2 stayed more than a month- isn't that a sign that your policies suck? The pay sucks? Your attitude sucks? I had the worst experiences of my life in those stores. I even tried everyday to change things- but Kohls is one of those companies where CORPORATE rules- and corporate doesn't care to think about the real people who are running their empire. It's a shame because with the right people in place, they could really take off. It doesn't take much to make people happy.
    My new job gives me the respect I deserve and that's the number one difference.

    +3 Votes
  • Ba
      5th of Mar, 2009

    I have a complaint. In the last 3 days that i have shopped at Kohls, I went out of the store and the buzzer went off. The Clerk at the register forgot to take the alarm device from my articles of clothing. I think the policy should be when that happens the article should be free for the customer. Maybe your employees will be more consciencious.

    -19 Votes
  • Xa
      15th of Mar, 2009

    Barbara Kraus, when you said "I think the policy should be when that happens the article should be free for the customer."

    I think if they did that, then they'd go out of business. Enough said.

    "Maybe your employees will be more consciencious."

    Some employee's are new. Some aren't aware of the 'alarm devices', mainly because management fails to train them properly or because they didn't tell the associate. (because everything is not 'alarm deviced'.

    -8 Votes
  • Bl
      17th of Jul, 2009

    I agree with you that they seriously understaff. Customers always complain to me that they can't find anyone on the floor, and I rarely ever have the ability to ask someone to cover my breaks because they're already doing the same for someone else.

    I'm infuriated by the suggestion that less hours means they want to fire you. I've witnessed perfectly capable, good employees that have been with the store for years get their hours cut in favor of giving the hours to idiot college kids who don't actually need the job. (I just had a talk with a friend who'd been with Kohl's nine years, and only had five hours last week even though she's full time. A college kid who only just now "freed up her schedule" breaking away from college courses had twenty. Same department.) I do agree that they avoid unemployment at all costs--even after I quit two years ago (and came back a year later), they still kept me listed on the payroll for an entire month.

    A completely inconsiderate schedule system is apparently standard at Kohl's. Three times last holiday season--when we're open 7AM-12AM--I closed one night, and opened the next. In order to keep a solid amount of hours, though, I can't stiffen my availability--I HAVE to keep myself available "at any time." They regularly schedule people at my store as backup cashier--who have no experience with the register. They have major schedule gaps, especially on the floor, and especially between 4PM and 6PM--but gaps in cashier scheduling also exist, and have to be filled in from the floor/managers. I've noticed gaps of up to two hours where I had to call the shift manager to help the customer! And half the time, the manager is too busy with store business to help those customers! I've even noticed management gaps lately, where they completely ignore the availability of managers and schedule them past the time they can work--meaning they either have to call in another manager off-shift, or they just don't have a manager at all during those times.

    I haven't personally experienced "off requests" being much of a problem, though--I've always gotten days off that I've asked for, with the exception of the reason I asked for one particular day off wasn't really important. I have, however, noticed "off requests" being ignored for other associates, even when asked for months in advance. There was recently a schedule change request put in by a friend of mine at work, and the secretary wrote down the wrong month to start the schedule change. Upon being confronted by the associate, the secretary said it's not her fault--it's corporate's--and that she can't fix it because hours have already been assigned.

    I totally disagree with you that you think the store actually needs more than one maintenance guy a day. The store just needs more floor associates!

    Safety violations? I've never noticed--aside from the uncanny and disturbing tendency for feces to spontaneously appear EVERYWHERE. On the aisle floor, in the fitting room stalls... and for some reason, one stall in particular ALWAYS is backed up with TERRIBLE DIARRHEA.

    I have no idea why Kohl's pushes credit applications so heavily. Our store actually pushes apps so hard we give the maximum discount, AND give said discount regardless of approval. Man, are they determined to ding people's credit scores. The managers even have to get in conference calls periodically with the managers above them if they're not meeting goals by certain hours of the day! ...Regardless, I don't really agree app pushing itself is a bad thing, since the applications are a discount opportunity--it's how they go about it that makes it so damn stupid. (Note that not all the managers are bad about the loudspeaker reminders. I think there are only two at my store that pretty much hover on their stats table waiting for an update.) Interesting and distressing fact, though: If you exceed the credit goal for a particular day, next year that day's goal will reflect the record goal instead.

    "Sweatshop conditions"!? IT'S THE FREAKIN' STOCK ROOM. You're acting like the stock room should be equally furnished as the front end of the store. FIND SOMEPLACE THAT ACTUALLY DOES THAT.

    Not even seasoned cashiers can catch every single anti-theft device, everyone makes mistakes. All department stores have this problem, Kohl's is no exception. That, and at the store from which I take my experiences so far, there are at least five different KINDS of security device, two of which you can't remove from the item before departure. Two of the ones you remove in-store were introduced just this year, too. It's common for "magnetized" flat tags to get missed, too, because the cashier might have thought they demagnetized it but didn't.

    The most recent complaint I have is that Kohl's corporate policy now prohibits associates from checking ID for credit cards unless the card is unsigned or obviously not that customer. (I.e., "Check ID" on the back, or the customer is male and the card name is female.) Just the signature on the back of the card is not enough to assure me that the customer is the cardholder or an authorized user--they may have obtained the card unsigned and filled it in themselves! Why would customers object to one more preventative measure against identity theft, let alone something as easy as presenting ID at time of purchase? It's so prevalent these days, and I'm beyond furious that corporate has decided that they'll endanger the identity of a customer in favor of shouldering the outrageous cost of fraud claims.

    +6 Votes
  • Bi
      29th of Jul, 2009


    +3 Votes
  • Ko
      13th of Sep, 2009

    aa you work at one of the ### georgia stores, judging by your pictures. we had to send 2 managers down there to straighten one up. then we hired and trained a manager to work down there full time. that store jumped rank from one of the 10 worst stores to about the top 30% in a year.

    and yea im with everyone who says the whole credit game sucks. i think they care more about credit than actually making money sometimes

    -1 Votes
  • Ex
      13th of Sep, 2009

    Any store that offers a store credit card is going to require associates to push the card. I've worked enough retail jobs to know that much as fact. And it does make a lot of sense. You build a lot of customer loyalty with your cardholders - they spend more money with each trip, they shop more often, they are more likely to shop your store than somewhere else. The company also makes money off of those cardholders, and major credit card companys (like Visa and Mastercard) charge the store a fee when customers use their cards (I always forget the details of how that works, but there are fees involved somehow).

    I actually quit my job with Kohl's after working for them a little less than a year back in 2000. I started with the company as the area supervisor in Women's Casual (at the time casual and career had different supervisors, don't know if that is still the case). By the time I quit, I was managing the entire Women's department, Juniors, Accessories and Intimates because those managers had quit and not been replaced.

    What made me quit my job at Kohl's? The lack of staffing. I came into the store one afternoon to a mess in my Women's department. There was a pile of merchandise in my fitting room waiting to be folded and put back out that was as tall as I am. There were also 3 rolling racks of merchandise that needed to be put back from the fitting rooms and several other racks of new merchandise waiting to go out as well. I walked back to the manager's office to request help with my department and was told there was no one they could spare. That would not have bothered me too much, except that I walked by the seasonal department and saw no less than 8 people standing around putting decorations on a Christmas tree. I walked back to the manager's office again and asked if I could borrow just one of those people to help me. The answer was "no, we really need to get the seasonal department done." I walked out of the store a few minutes later and never returned.

    Kohl's runs the way it does because they can. They know they offer a good price for their customer and that the customer will continue to shop there regardless of the mess they encounter or the lack of service. They know there is a neverending list of people looking for retail jobs and they can keep cycling through them as long as they need.

    If you aren't happy with your job, find another. Try Target. They're a great company to work for.

    -1 Votes
  • Ov
      22nd of Sep, 2009

    I work for kohl's as well, and they are very very understaffed. This is the main problem. The turnover rate for my store is absolutely horrendeous. It is over 100%. The positive side of that is there is plenty of opportunity for promotion, lol. In addition, the pay really isn't good for the amount of work you do. Now with the addition of the smaller stores, its even more rediculous what one person is expected to do.

    Well, what work do you do. Lets see. I work the kids department. Once a month the floorplan changes and you have to rearrange the ENTIRE department. Most of the time this is the easiest part of the job. The inbetween is what gets you. Every week you have a truck (during the holidays sometimes two). When you put the clothes out, you have to build folding tables or break folding tables down to put out new merchandise, move the department around to fit clothes in because you have to keep the "flow" or like styles together. Some of the racks/tables are what are called "strikepoints" so they have to stay up front. In addition, to be a good merchandiser, you have a chart that tells you how to arrange the close by size, color, and balance (top to bottom, left to right, smaller to bigger, ect ect). You can see where this is going. Its alot of work for just one person and takes a constant working attitude. You can't relax one second otherwise you will get behind. You MUST get the truck out before the weekend or you will loose the majority of your sales to make room for the next truck. So, you have one day to do all of this and a lot of times you don't get any help beyond 2 or 3 hours of one or two addition people. In smaller stores, they don't even have all the fixtures according to the floorplan, so you have to get creative to get all your stock out. Corporate doesn't care or know, they only know the floorplan and send the inventory accordingly (this is bad bad management).

    In addition, about once a month (a lot of times twice) they have clearance marks. In addition to what is described above, you have to "prep" this clearance before hand. It consists of a list that printed out and you go around your department finding all these items about to be marked down and move them to a special section where the clearance is. In alot of cases it can be over 3000 items. This, once again, will require you to do what needs to be done for a truck--moving things around while keeping the strikepoints up front but keeping the "flow" of the department correct. After all that, you have the day of the marks. After you mark everything, you are expected to then reorginize it by percentage. In addition, each new mark will have a series of "additional marks" where you go and mark down the stuff thats on clearance already. This is always a different day usually in the same month. Here, once again, you have reorganize.

    Every season and holiday they change the diplays in the isle. You have to exit that stuff into your already bloated department to make way for the new stuff that will arrive as a second truck during the designated day. Just like a department, all the fixtures have to be moved around in the isle (once cleared) and the department to keep the "flow".

    On top of ALL this you are expected to help customers, check out when paged, get credit, check fitting rooms AND get your returns from customer service.

    For instance this week's work load looks like this...Sunday, Additional clerance marks, Monday, Prep for new clearance. Tuesday, new truck. Wen and Thursday off (no part timer available during those hours to help), Friday Finish Truck, Saturday Holiday phase II need to finish exiting the isle fixtures requires reflow of department, sunday Set up isle fixtures, pull merchendise from department that is already in store. Monday, new truck for isle fixtures.

    99% of the time, you do this all by yourself. The 1% is there for unloading the truck and helping for a couple of hours after they finish.

    Part timers never help. They can barely straighten the store after the customer tears it up. Once in a while you get a good employee, but they are few and far in between.

    In addition, kohl's likes to turn off the air conditioner when the store isn't open. and half the time they keep the store at a balmy 77 degrees. When you are busting your butt, that is hot. You sweat. I can't tell you the number of times we have had to call the ambulance cause someone passes out.

    I am always amazed by customers who complain about their customer service. I know it would be nice to have a personal shopper. And I would love to help you. But with all the things i am responsible for doing everyday. its hard. I think this is why most of the part timers quit. They think they are getting a job where they walk around the store all day ONLY helping customers and somehow a magical fairy puts all the clothes on the racks and rearranges them in this pretty setup, then sprinkling their fairy dust, they straighten the clothes up.

    Bottom line is that these companies are getting greedy. The billionaire CEO must make more and more money every year. But I think our economy has reached a tipping point. At a certain percentage of profit versus costs, the money required to operate efficiently must not be compromised or you risk your whole business. This is what is occuring, but corporate is so far removed from the daily grind, they are totally oblivous to it. People are getting fed up with it and soon your business will fail.

    0 Votes
  • Sl
      7th of Oct, 2009

    I work in a Kohl's in Utah. I started as part-time and really enjoyed it. They made me full time and I'm pulling my hair out. I cannot believe how much they expect out of full-time people. And being full-time, I'm still only making $10 an hour. You're expected to get all your freight out the same day the truck is unloaded, complete your department updates on your time all the while you're trying to recover your area, back-up at the registers, cover breaks and lunches all over the store, get your go-backs taken care of and make sure everything is neat and tidy. Oh, and don't forget about credit. Gotta get people to sign up for those Kohl's cards. It's freaking relentless. People don't want more credit cards so they aren't easy to push. I get so sick of their veiled threats of ..."oh, you only have two credits for the month." And the thing that kills me is the execs NEVER get credit yet they constantly obsess and worry over it. I'm lucky that all the part-time associates I work with are very nice and hard-working. I genuinely like them and am grateful to have met and gotten to know them. If not for them, I would have quit a long time ago - regardless of the crappy economy.
    By the way, I think my most favorite thing is being told by an exec of the E3 on walkie that they just passed some trash on the floor in my area and could I go clean it up. When I get there I expect to see a huge mess, nope, usually just a piece of paper or something equally as small laying there. But they are too good to pick it up. They're probably just excited because the take-out food they ordered just arrived. Oh thank God, you guys only spent three hours on the walking discussing it. Shovel it in!

    +6 Votes
  • Ga
      2nd of Nov, 2009

    I HATE working for Kohl's. I have been there way too long...3 1/2 years!!! I despise everything about it: the lack of associates scheduled for each department, the number of associates who call out everyday and you are then expected to pick up their slack, the pressure of getting credits even if you have to harass the customers (don't take no for an answer, keep telling the customer the benefits until you can see that they are getting irritated), when you request a day off, most of the time you will be scheduled anyway, and I HATE the customers. Some of the customers are so rude, it really pisses me off. I'm tired of hearing lazy ### people complain about having to walk to the back of the store to return something at customer service...get over it, most of you need the exercise anyway!! I hate senior citizen day, we don't have a set day for it, sometimes it's on a Tuesday, other times it's on a Wednesday...but it's not every week. So when customers ask what day is senior citizen day, what the hell are you supposed to tell them?!? Oh yeah and if you ask people if they qualify for the senior citizen discount a lot of people will get offended. One time last year, one of my cashiers asked a woman if she qualified for the discount and it turns out that she was 45 years later that day we received a phone call from that woman's daughter saying that her mother was at home crying because we thought that she was a senior citizen. SERIOUSLY!?!?!??! We can't help that you look old, get over it! I'm tired of old people demanding their senior citizen discount, I'm seriously thinking about changing my availability so I don't have to work on old farts day. I hate the 'Yes We Can' policy because most customers take advantage of it, "Oh, I forgot my 30% coupon at home"...Yeah, right. If you actually had a 30% coupon and you decided to shop at Kohl's that day, I'm sure that you would have grabbed that coupon on your way out the door. People know that we will go ahead and honor their "30%" coupon. I am currently looking for a new job that does not involve talking to customers, I hate them. And yes, I do realize that without the customers I would not have a job but that's why I am saying that I need a job that does not require me to kiss peoples ### and be fake.

    +4 Votes
  • Ca
      9th of Nov, 2009
    Best Best Advice

    I just got out of this toxic work environment yesterday, and it's probably the best decision concerning work I've ever made. Being part-time, I didn't expect the best hours, or to be treated like a pretty, pretty princess. I did however, expect to be treated with common courtesy, something Kohl's probably never heard of (unless it could help sell the stupid credit card). Oddly enough, the customers weren't the problem and I enjoyed helping them, but my co-workers were some of the most blatantly catty human beings on the planet. The "execs" were incompetent (although it seems they had no trouble with their food runs) and didn't know how to handle a basic task like scheduling me when I wasn't in class. The "execs" were also some of the most patronizing jerks around (gold stars and a pat on the back may have helped when I was in preschool, but nowadays it's blatantly insulting). If I had knew then what I know now, I would not have applied at Kohl's in the first place.

    +6 Votes
  • Ko
      10th of Nov, 2009

    As a customer the saying is "The More You Know the More You Kohl's". As an employee, you are more likely to think "The More You Know the More Kohl's Blows".

    +3 Votes
  • Ih
      10th of Nov, 2009

    This retail conglomerate is the Anti-Christ. I half expect to have pea soup spit in my face when I enter the store to begin my shift. They want EVERYTHING to look perfect all the time, all the while you're stuck backing up at register, helping customers, getting [censor]ed at by one of the four execs who waddle out of the office like trolls from under a bridge once a shift and "smile and say hi." I hate this store. And of course you have to sell the Kohl's credit cards to customers, relentlessly. It never ends. I've been told by some customers that they shop at Kohl's much less than they used to because of pushy Kohl's associates regarding the Kohl's credit cards. I don't blame them. But if they think it's bad on their end, trying hearing about it constantly and relentlessly. This store sucks and I HATE IT!

    0 Votes
  • Sm
      30th of Jan, 2010

    Wake up American Shoppers. Kohl's store credit card is under the control of the powerful conglomerate Chase Bank who will deduct your payment out of your checking account electronically and no longer even return the check image to your bank. If you request a copy of the check image they will charge you $5.00! They do not offer an opt out to this bank favored policy for Chase to process your payment faster and at a reduced cost for them. We have canceled our account. Should my family choose to continue to shop at Kohl's we will use an American Express Card so they will have to pay the highest merchant credit card processing fees. We hope Kohl's will eventually wake up and realize that without the customer there is no business!

    0 Votes
  • Ko
      28th of Mar, 2010

    It's true, Kohl's does screw their employees. My store I work at, missed it's annual goal by $800, so the night shift was discontinued and sent to work on days. They told us about a month before, but started the shifts one week earlier than notified. They also told every single night employee they were guaranteed 2 trucks and 2 replenishment days, both from 6am to 1pm. Instead they gave all the regular night shift employees that always did truck, 1 day and all the day employees 3 days. What is up with that. Not only did we lose our extra dollar for the night shift premium, but basically lost our jobs. So now they expect us to unload and process a truck about 3 1/2 hours earlier than normal for less money and less days. This is a bunch of crap. I've worked for dollar general and it wasn't poorly ran as Kohl's is. If the customers actually see how they treat their employees they might stop shopping there all together or show a little more respect to the "lower ranked" employees. I lost all respect for Kohl's.

    +1 Votes
  • Eb
      29th of Mar, 2010

    I have worked at Kohl's for almost a year. I came before the store opened, and during the time of preparing for grand opening the managers were caring and motivating. As soon as we opened the store, everything changed. At my store, the customer is a very important part, we say "Yes we can" to everything they want, which is great. But we do not share that kind of respect for our associates. Almost all associates are at 4hours a week, and we keep hiring! I am a "2-7" which is a POS specialist, basically the supervisor in charge of breaks, customer complaints, etc. When they need to cut hours, I am one of the first to go because I am not formally a fulltime associate but i get paid more. So because I worked hard to get a promotion, I now make less than associates who are lazy and ineffecient.

    Kohl's is not a good place to work, I would highly recommened to stay on unemployment rather than take a job with Kohl's.

    I completely agree that Kohl's understaffs, they try ever week to cut back hours. And it is something customers are not happy with. It also forces associates to pick up more responsibilities.

    Also, they do not fire people for not working well. Once someone makes it past their 90 day review, they only fire for stealing, or breaking rules.

    So we are stuck with people who take the entire night to put away a handful of items, wasting the hours of those who work hard.

    Kohl's does push credit, but I don't see the harm in that. If someone doesn't want one, they say no. Every retail store pushes credit, they earn money for it. And associates get paid for each app they solicit.

    +2 Votes

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