Upon Discovering Kohl’s
October 13, 2020
Kohl’s kitchen section was full of KitchenAid, vintage Berghoff copper, and Corningware. The display beds were covered in luxurious and colorful Vera Wang, Scott Brothers, and Cuddl Duds sheet sets and comforters, and looked so cozy and comfortable, I wanted to lay down and take a nap. Well-stocked men's and women's fashions included Adidas, ASICS, Dickies, Dockers, Check Taylor’s and Kohl's proprietary Apt 9 apparel line. 3 for $20 mix-and-match graphic tees, and the BOGO 50% off on all Levi's immediately caught my eye. Kohl’s was having their annual Style Event, so the urge to shop for complete outfits for under $60 kept me busy in the dressing room for a spell. The massive shoe department was a treasure trove of Nike, New Balance, Clark's Esprit, and Sketchers. Kohl’s holiday home decor section was a gorgeous collection of fall, winter, and Christmas adornments to add warmth and cheer to any home.
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I picked up a few stocking stuffers, gift wrap, Hallmark cards, several family-beloved Yankee Candles, a couple of plush blankets, and a Keurig for my sister. As I finished up with my purchase and signed the credit card receipt, the cashier exuberantly "congratulated" me for my purchases. "Well done, way to shop!" Then she took her pen, circled something on a glossy-looking coupon, and handed it to me. As I proceeded to stuff it in my pocket, she said, "You know, that's money. That's $30!”
I said, "Oh." Then I mumbled some excuse to make up for my ignorance. A tale about my mother being an avid shopper at Kohl's. How much she loved telling me about her shopping adventures, over long distance phone calls and coffee. That I was just in the neighborhood, after visiting a friend from high school, and had seen the store while walking to the train platform and decided to wander in since I’d heard such great things, had time to kill, hoping to maybe check off a few Christmas gifts on my list.
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Somehow I got carried away. I began sharing that I was more of the online kind of shopper. I'd grown up in a very suburban town on the outskirts of Ithaca. On Saturday mornings post-cartoons, my siblings and I would pile in the car and spend the day at the mall, and how I'd always looked forward to getting the S & H green stamps, you know, filling the pages and turning them in for prizes, and that we'd had enough stamps once to get a new toaster. I was so nervous, I threw a memory of my first excursion to New York City; how amazed I'd been at the ten levels of shopping when my family had gone to the Macy's, Herald Square.
There was the longest pause. At that moment I must have appeared to have three alien heads. It could have been the Venti triple-shot. The cashier, puzzled and pinched faced, cocked and eyebrow, gave me the once-over, and said, “Huh.” I half-expected her to lean into the microphone next to the register, and announce over the PA system “So, let me get this straight. Your mother shops at this Kohl's. You talk to her about it on the phone, "over coffee." She never tells you about Kohl's Cash. And now you stand here feigning like you don't know what I'm talking about, instead comparing a 20-year-old mall-adventure-S & H-green-stamps-toaster win, to actual CASH I just handed you."
I heard the sound of myself swallowing, like a nervous cartoon character. I may have said, “Zoinks.”
"Just, don't lose that Kohl's Cash," she said, half threat, half dare. She stabbed the air with her pointer finger towards the coupon still in my hand, then turned to the woman behind me, loading the conveyor belt with her purchases. They made eye contact and seemed to agree silently how sad it was that I “didn’t know” of these miraculous savings. I noticed shoppers in another line were glaring at me; others looking utterly disappointed.
I quickly left the store, head hanging, then walked toward the train platform. On the ride, I pondered how a serious commitment to shopping at what appeared to be a freakishly coveted department store "church" could turn people into such a play money-hungry "congregation." Nobody gives you money to shop, it had to be a gimmick. When I got back to my mother's house, she immediately asked me how much Kohl's Cash I received when she spied the bags. I laughed out loud. "You too?" She became very serious. "Me too, what? That's money!"
Get Rewarded to Shop
Ten years on, after feeling judged about not knowing, and then getting schooled about what incredible everyday savings can be had at Kohl's, I, too, have become a shopping. And Kohl's savings have gotten even better. The newly revamped Kohl's Rewards Program is free, and now every purchase, no matter how big or small, earns 5% Kohl's Cash. Some exceptions apply. Kohl's alerts me via email or on the Kohl's app when my Kohl's Cash is ready to spend.
Shop online, or shop in-store. Curb-side pickup is available at most Kohl’s locations. Once you’ve created your Kohl’s account, you’ll also start to receive 10%, 20%, and 30% mystery coupons via mail or email which you can stack with your Kohl’s Cash. With the Kohl’s Rewards Program and Kohl’s app, you’ll even get treated to an annual birthday reward and special savings incentives based on your purchase history.
Free Standard Shipping with a Kohls.com purchase of $75 or more.
With the Kohl’s App you can track your Rewards, pay your bill, use the in-store map, clip Kohl’s online exclusives, see your Kohl’s Cash balance in real time, spend your Kohl’s Cash on purchases, and most importantly you get rewarded to shop. Kohl’s, Expect Great Things.