Kohl’s To Sell Muslim Veils
May 3, 2027
MILWAUKEE – American clothing retailer Kohl’s announced today that it would begin selling Muslim veils as part of its cultural line. Customers will now be able to purchase niqabs and abayas, which cover the hair and lower face but usually leave the eyes visible. Kohl’s also announced it is considering selling burqas, which cover the entire head and only leave the eyes visible behind a mesh screen. Headscarves, which do not cover the face, will also be available.
Kohl’s introduced its cultural line in 2018 in order to enter the increasing market for African and Latin American-styled clothing. Sales of the culturally specific pieces were strong and Kohl’s was able to sell at lower costs than smaller rivals.
The success of the endeavor eventually lead Kohl’s to expand their product line to Japanese, Chinese and other East Asian and Pacific outfits in 2022. Sales of those products are strongest on the Western Coast, where there are a large number of Asian immigrants.
A number of consumers also purchase the cultural items, even if their heritage does not reflect the culture of the clothing. “I’ve bought a couple of Japanese kimonos. I just think they’re neat,” says Wisconsin State junior Heather Kingston.
“I think I’d consider buying one,” Kingston said when asked about the new line of Muslim clothing.
American attitudes to both Muslims and veils have improved over the last two decades. While most Europeans have opposed allowing Muslim women to wear veils, with some nations even outlawing it, Americans have had a more lukewarm reception. Polls show that about half of Americans find wearing the niqab in public to be acceptable, with only 25% believing it should be completely outlawed.
“I think it will be a great benefit to Muslims and non-Muslims living in America,” said Hebah Madari, Muslim activist and one of the nation’s leading voices for Muslim women having the right to wear the face veil.
“I will buy a niqab from Kohl’s the first day they are available,” she said.
“It’s about giving consumers what they want. What they come into the store to purchase. There are Muslim women and maybe even a few others who want to purchase veils,” Kohl’s Vice President Paul Roloff said when asked what prompted the company’s decision.
American women have gravitated towards more modest fashions. Bikini sales are down 25% since 2015, meaning annual sales went from $8 billion dollars then to $6 billion now.
“A lot of women are afraid that strangers will take their picture on the beach and then put them on the Internet. Some beaches won’t even let women wear bikinis anymore,” Roloff said.
Miniskirt sales are down 33% since 2015. “Women have been buying pants, long sleeve shirts and long skirts over the last decade. More revealing attire is in decline,” Roloff added.
The introduction of niqabs and burqas will let Kohl’s tap into the increasing Muslim market in the United States. Estimates of the percentage of Muslims in America range from 2.5 to 5%, up from less than 1% in 2010. Immigration from Muslim nations accounts for at least half of that increase, but an increasing number of Americans are also converting to Islam.
Muslim consumers also have a great degree of purchasing power, with the median Muslim family earning over $10,000 more each year than the typical American family. The Foundation for Teaching Islam, an Islamic research and outreach group, credits the wealth of American Muslims to their high paying positions in the medical, legal and engineering fields.
Islamic style veils have also been used by non-Muslim women in some parts of the country during winter months. Many see it as working better than traditional scarves, although hoods are usually still worn over the niqabs.
“It just works a lot better than wearing a scarf,” Michelle Parkfield of Buffalo, New York told us.
Niqabs and possibly burqas are expected to be on shelves starting this fall.
Copyright 2027 Rouders