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Kohl’s Presses Sales Despite Pressures

For the fiscal year ended February 2, Kohl’s Corp. posted a 2.5% sales increase to $19.28 billion with comparable store sales up 0.3%. For the fourth quarter ended the same date, total sales gained 5.4% to $6.34 billion while comps advanced 1.9%.

Standard & Poors analyst Jason Asaeda said in a research note that he expected sales to come in at $19.24 billion, but he cautioned that competition and macroeconomic pressures had been pushing Kohl’s to a more opening pricepoint/promotional footing, which will weigh on margins.

An extra week in fiscal 2012 impacts comparisons with fiscal 2011. So, when calculated for a four-week period ended January 26, 2013, comps in the just-completed fiscal month increased 13.3%. Total sales for the full five-week fiscal January period were $1.13 billion, up 34.1% versus last year’s month. Sales in the fifth week of fiscal January 2013 were $169 million, Kohl’s pointed out.

The retailer noted that the West was the strongest sales region across the United States for the month with a mid-teen comp increase, while the South Central reported a low double-digit comp gain. Other regions reported mid- to high single-digit increases, Kohl’s stated.

E-commerce sales, excluding the fifth week of fiscal January 2013, increased 59% versus January 2012. All lines of business except Footwear, comps up in the high single digits, achieved double-digit comparable store sales increases.

Currently, Kohl’s operates 1,146 stores in 49 of the United States versus 1,127 stores at the same time last year.


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