Kohl’s Corporation (KSS) is an American family oriented department store retail chain founded in September 1962 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Maxwell Kohl. This company sells shoes, accessories, home & beauty products and exclusive brand apparel and it was ranked, in the earlier part of the last decade, between the US’s fastest growing retailers.
In 1979 the Kohl family left the company’s management definitively. In 1986, the British-American Tobacco Company sold Kohl’s to a group of investors who took it public in 1992. It is currently the second largest department store by retail sales in the United States of America, being surpassed only by Macy’s. It has 1.162 stores operating in 49 states.
On Thursday, Kohl’s Corporation reported an 87% drop in revenue in the last quarter of the year. Kohl’s shares closed the day worth 35.15 dollars, dropping around 60 cents from the opening value. Sales at Kohl’s stores decreased approximately 3.9%, opposing to the 0.4% growth expected by analysts. This company’s inventory also decayed 48% over the last 12 months, leading to the Chief Executive Kevin Mansel saying that “the company took the markdowns necessary to clear excess inventory.” Although the company maintains a solid profit, the only reason for the shares dip in value was the abrupt decrease in sales.
In the first quarter of the current year, which ended up in April 30, sales at their stores fell around 3.7% to 3.97 billion dollars, opposed once again to the 4.13 billion dollars in income forecast by the analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Last year, Kohl’s corporation announced, in this same quarter, a profit of 127 billion dollars (approximately 63 cents a share), a value that as abruptly dropped to 17 million dollars (around 9 cents a share).
The descents in revenue are caused by various reasons. Nowadays, retailers and department stores like Kohl’s and Macy’s (M) face a decrease in sales and in shop traffic, less purchase power from the consumers and also more consciousness from them, the excess of promotions to bring customers to the stores (that in a long term has as a consequence the decreasing in value both of the brand and the products) and the migration of customers to online shopping.
Online shopping is now the biggest threat for retailers. They are able to offer better deals and cheaper prices, discreet purchases (some items are better bought in privacy) and customers can buy everything without leaving their couches, being everything available at just one click of a button without having to wait in lines or walk among huge crowds. As this situation has not improved, Kohl’s said that would close 18 of their stores, due to low profit and low performance.