Kohl’s started in Wisconsin in 1962 when Max Kohl opened the first store. In 1988 the company incorporated and they went public in 1992 at $14 a share and then did some stock splits for a share price of $1.75. At that time they had jut 76 stores and sales of $1 billion.
Since then Kohl’s has opened more than 1,100 stores and has sales in excess of $18 billion. Their stock is currently trading at $52.40. The company employs 140,000 associates.
I hate that fucking term myself…associate. It really makes me feel unimportant and not part of your organization at all. After all, I’m not a part of it…I’m just associated with it.
It’s that title that worries me for I know Kohl’s doesn’t give a fuck about anyone in Missoula and workers will just be expendable. It’s that same attitude that’ll set workers’ schedules at under 29 hours a week so they won’t have to pay healthcare on them.
We know that many workers at Kohl’s hate their jobs because they go online and post about it. Read about it here and here. I’m pretty confident that Kohl’s workers in Missoula will feel about the same.
So what does a Kohl’s worker do all day? The best I can tell they stock shelves, talk to customers, and get people to sign-up for Kohl’s credit cards. Seems all you really need to work there is a high school diploma, the ability to stand for 4 to 8 hours and the strength to live up to 15 pounds.
This is where I take a deep breath and shake my head. If up to 40% of our residents here have a college degree why do we keep shoving these shit jobs at them? Or is only supplying jobs that pay poverty wages and keep graduates in student loan debt forever our overall plan here?
It’s hard not to find some kind of conspiracy to keep Missoula down when our elected leaders only focus on brining in these kinds of jobs. I guess this is one way to make up for all those Smurfit-Stone and Bonner Mill jobs, but gosh…am I the only one that thinks we can do better?
Sure, Kohl’s might employ anywhere from 30 to 50 workers, although I doubt it’ll be that high. Maybe they’ll inject $1.5 million in payroll into our economy each year, perhaps more.
Those are all great things…short-term. But long-term? Are we just going to be a city of Kohl’s and Home Depot and Cabella’s workers? I thought we were better than that in Montana. Every time I read about a story like this in the Missoulian, however, and I wonder if that’s true anymore.
Maybe we’ve given up here, maybe we’ve become as fat and lazy as our mayor and just as lacking in ideas as well. Perhaps we’ve become as timid as our city council or as clueless as our county commissioners. Maybe people in Missoula just don’t know how to succeed anymore, maybe we’ve been relying on the government for too long and counting on others to do for us what we should be doing for ourselves.
I’m ready for that time to come to an end and I’m confident because I know it will. These things with companies like Kohl’s moving in are just a short-term blip on the radar, a bump in an otherwise good record.
We can do better than Kohl’s in Missoula and the rest of Montana and...we...will.