Entries in Kohl's (4)


Kohl's to Add Over 50,000 Seasonal Jobs

Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the holiday shopping season approaches, job seekers across the country hope retailers are ready to ramp up hiring. Fortunately for them, Kohl's Department Stores isn't wasting any time.

Kohl's says it expects to hire more than 50,000 people this holiday season. That's 10 percent more than it added to its payrolls last year during retailers' busiest months.

The Wisconsin-based department store chain has 1,146 stores in 49 states, and plans to hire an average of 41 workers per store.  An additional 5,700 seasonal employees will be hired at Kohl's distribution centers while the chain's credit operation will add 30 new employees.

The company says it is offering part-time positions ranging from a few hours to more than 20 hours per week.

Job hopefuls should hurry, though. The company started hiring this month and expects to fill most positions by mid-November.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lawyers for Kohl’s Sue Retailer over Zooey Deschanel Lawsuit

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Lawyers for Kohl’s Department Stores have turned the tables on their client by filing a lawsuit against the national retailer, demanding more than $600,000 in attorney fees after settling a lawsuit with actress Zooey Deschanel for $100,000.

Deschanel, star of the Fox show, New Girl, had filed a lawsuit in December 2010, claiming she had an oral contract with the shoemaker Steve Madden to use her name and likeness for a “Zooey” line of shoes. She claims the shoemaker repudiated the contract with her agent but it was later discovered that Steve Madden had an agreement with shoemaker Candie’s to distribute “Candie’s Zooey shoes” at Kohl’s.

The actress said she was never paid for the endorsement deal.

Kohl’s retained the law firm, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, in August 2011, replacing prior counsel because Sheppard Mullin “would be better qualified to handle” the prospect of depositions of senior executives, “substantial exposure to additional lawsuits for the similar use of celebrity names, such as Cher and Madonna, for Kohl’s shoe lines,” among other issues, the suit claims.

Unfortunately, the lawyers didn’t learn from their own lawsuit and proceeded without a written agreement from Kohl’s.

“Due to these pending issues at the time of Sheppard Mullin’s substitution, immediate action was necessary and there was no time to wait to act until after obtaining a written engagement agreement,” the suit states. But Sheppard Mullin claims they sent their hourly rates to Kohl’s in a letter, and that the rates were “discussed and orally agreed to by Kohl’s.”

The law firm filed a lawsuit against Kohl’s in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, claiming Kohl’s isn’t paying up as they orally promised and suing Kohl’s for breach of contract among other complaints.

Kohl’s and Sheppard Mullin did not immediately return a request for comment.

Kohl’s refused to pay Sheppard Mullins “on the grounds that the fees incurred were disproportionate to the value of the case, which Kohl’s valued based on the amount of the settlement, ignoring the facts that [Deschanel] demanded $1.7 million in damages, that a loss in the case would mean significant exposure to additional similar lawsuits, and that Kohl’s faced potential sanctions.”

In early October 2011, Deschanel demanded $1.7 million “and it did not appear that settlement would be possible,” the suit claims.

“Through Sheppard Mullin’s diligent efforts in October 2011, particularly in resolving discovery battles and identifying experts, the tide turned in Kohl’s favor,” the lawsuit claims.

At the end of October 2011, Deschanel agreed to settle with Kohl’s for $100,000 in damages, according to the court filing.

Meanwhile, the law firm racked up $608,694.67 in legal fees from August to November 2011.

Kohl’s rejected the invoices submitted by Sheppard Mullin and disputed the amount of fees owed, the suit states. The retailer “criticized Sheppard Mullin for preparing for trial and undertaking tasks it thought its prior counsel was doing,” the suit states.

On May 16, 2012, the law firm sent Kohl’s a formal demand of $628,589.59 which includes interest of 10 percent per year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Tony Hawk's Clothing Line Made in Unsafe Factories?

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Celebrity skateboard icon Tony Hawk has parlayed his rugged image into a brand that earns more than $200 million a year and dominates the young men and boys clothing aisles at the discount department store Kohl's. The Hawk label was also on the garment factory floor in a Bangladesh high-rise just over a year ago when a fire swept through the upper stories, killing 29 workers.

Making clothes in the world's cheapest labor market helps keep down costs for American consumers, but also carries risks for the people inside the factories.

"Bangladesh is the cheapest place in the world to make apparel," said Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium. "The lowest wages -- 21 cents an hour -- the weakest regulations, the worst attention to workplace safety. All this adds up to terrible conditions for workers, but great prices for apparel buyers and that's why the brands and retailers are there."

On Wednesday, an ABC News investigation exposed the heavy toll paid by workers who make the clothing that Americans wear -- with nearly 500 dead in fires at garment factories in Bangladesh over the past five years. Designer Tommy Hilfiger acknowledged in an interview with ABC News that the garment industry has done too little to protect workers who make their clothes, and responded with an unprecedented commitment to improve fire safety -- pledging more than $1 million to help support an independent fire inspector for the factories in Bangladesh.

But other brands have been slower to act, said Nova, who represents one of several advocacy groups that has spent more than a year trying to get the brands to take tangible steps to prevent future tragedies.

"There's always the claim that they care and want things to improve. What matters here is action," Nova said. "And we're aware of no action that Tony Hawk of Kohl's has taken since this tragic fire to actually improve their practices."

ABC News caught up with Hawk at the opening of a California skate park and asked him about the fire.

"It's tragic," Hawk told ABC News. "I think that the safety standards need to change and I support whatever change that they can make there."

Hawk said he and other celebrities who have licensed their names to clothing lines have a responsibility to insure people are not dying to make their garments.

"Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, for sure. It's just difficult because my clothing company actually got purchased by another company and got licensed, so there was kind of a separation, a removal," he said. "But I definitely want to follow up and make sure that it's safe. I mean that's the bottom line, it has to be safe."

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Twenty-nine workers at the factory where Hawk's clothing line for Kohl's, as well as items for PVH Corp., Gap and other popular American brands, are manufactured, perished in the December 2010 blaze. The fire seemed to encapsulate in one tragic incident the range of dangers that have for years faced the low-wage workers who stitch together American garments.

Electrical wiring overloaded by sewing equipment is believed to have sparked the flames in the high-rise building. Dozens of workers, breaking for lunch at a make-shift canteen on the roof, were unable to descend smoke-filled stairwells and were trapped far out of reach of ladder trucks. The building, like most factories in Bangladesh, lacked fire escapes, sprinklers, and other modern safety equipment. As the flames intensified -- fueled by piles of clothes and fabric -- workers trying to flee said they found at least one of the factory's gates padlocked. Several were forced to fashion ropes from rolls of fabric to attempt to scale down the side of the building.

For weeks, ABC News tried to speak with executives at the Wisconsin-based Kohl's, a company that describes itself as "a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store." The day before the news report aired, Kohl's responded to questions about factory safety conditions with a three-sentence written statement that noted the company had pledged a total of $37,500 to the relatives of the 29 workers who died.

"Kohl's has made a private donation to the humanitarian fund to help support the victims and their families affected by the tragic fire that occurred last year in Bangladesh," said Vicki Shamion, Kohl's senior vice president, community and public relations. "Our donation was equivalent to that of other U.S.-based retailers. We are committed to improving fire safety and continuing our discussions with the Global Works Foundations regarding participation in a Bangladesh fire safety project that they are planning."

Nova said he and other advocates are urging celebrities such as Hawk to do more to address the working conditions in Bangladesh.

"This is his clothing line, it's his name on the clothing, he makes the decision to license his name to a company like Kohl's, he has a responsibility to ensure that clothing is made under conditions that he personally finds acceptable," Nova said. "And obviously, as you can see from his comments here, he hasn't done that." 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Stores Opening with Black Friday Deals on Thanksgiving Day

Tay Rees/Lifesize/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Christmas shopping will be starting even earlier this year.  Black Friday is coming to Thursday. That's right on Thanksgiving Day.

"Nothing's sacred anymore, I guess," Chicago resident Amanda Palmucci said today. "I don't agree with it. I think the best way to spend Thanksgiving is with your family – overeating, you know."

For the first time, Target, Macy's, Best Buy and Kohl's say they will be opening their doors at midnight Thursday. Wal-Mart will open at 10 p.m.

"Basically what it is, it's a race for space," said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at the NPD Group. "If retailers can be the first doors open, they're going to capture that enthusiastic Black Friday customer."

Cohen said that even though the weekend represented about 11 percent of the holiday business, it still set a tone.

Sears and JC Penney said they will not be opening on Thanksgiving Day so that workers can be with their families. Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee, has created an online petition urging his employer not to open until Friday morning.

"I'm going to have to get some sleep and I’ll probably go to bed at 2 and miss my family's Thanksgiving dinner completely," said Hardwick, who has to be at work at Target at 11 p.m. to prepare for the rush of shoppers.

Brenda Hurst told ABC News that she had shopped on Black Friday once and would never do it again.

"It was an absolute madhouse," the Indiana woman said. "I had a woman who would not give me a parking spot. … She was saving it for somebody. My personal vote is: Everyone take a break from spending and let's just be thankful for what we already have with our family and good health."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio