The last few months have been hard on many businesses, but the down time has led to innovation and big changes.
- The COVID-19 pandemic was a difficult time for businesses, but the challenges led the businesses to change some aspects of how they run and adapt to be better.
- Many businesses both big and small took a big hit during the pandemic and were forced to change things in order to stay afloat.
- Businesses realized changes had to happen in order to survive, and are now carrying those ideas into the future.
Why it’s important
The pandemic was a big eye opener for many businesses—revealing what established business tactics needed to change.
Even now that the pandemic has mostly passed, businesses can take the lessons that were learned over the past few years and continue to implement them into the business.
“Where we are today…retail is a completely different industry than in 2019,” Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass said during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit. “So many changes—from living through the pandemic, supply chain challenges, the spikes in demand, the pull back in demand, labor.”
Gass explains the hits her company took during the pandemic and how it changed to fix them.
Even though the pandemic has subsided, the hard times might not be over just yet. Many think that the U.S. is on the brink of a recession due to the Federal Reserve attempting to slow down inflation by hiking interest rates.
Gass said that Kohl’s is already fearing the worst and preparing for a recession.
“We’ve already started feeling it,” she said. “We operate in the more discretionary categories, as opposed to food and gas, and where a lot of budgets are being constrained. And so, as we see this unfolding, we are quickly adapting.”
The bigger picture
Kohl’s is preparing for a recession just in case so the company can be well prepared.
This shows that the company as a whole used the pandemic as a catalyst for change. The pandemic affected Kohl’s in many ways, but that didn’t stop the major company from trying to be better and come out strong.
Kohl’s realized its weak spots during the pandemic, adapted and changed for the better.
“Oftentimes the harder things are around really structurally changing your cost, structurally changing the way you’re working,” she says.