Kohl’s reports slight downturn in 2019 holiday sales

Company working to boost performance in women's department

West Allis Center Kohl's.
The Kohl's store located at West Allis Center.

Last updated on January 13th, 2020 at 09:42 am

The recent holiday rush was slower than it was last year for Kohl’s Corp. 

The Menomonee Falls-based retailer today reported comparable sales in November and December 2019 decreased 0.2% from the same period last year.

That’s a contrast from 2018’s post-holiday report when Kohl’s announced comparable sales increased 1.2% in November and December 2018, over that period in 2017.

“Throughout the holiday period, we remained focused on serving our loyal customers and engaging with an increasing number of new customers,” said Michelle Gass, chief executive officer at Kohl’s. “We are managing the business with discipline and we expect to deliver on our earnings guidance for the full year.”

Gass cited “softness” in the women’s department, saying the company is working quickly to address the lag. She said sales in the company’s digital business, active, beauty and children’s departments are picking up, while footwear and men’s are strong.

“As we look ahead, we are committed to driving innovation and bringing new experiences to both our existing and new customers. We look forward to sharing additional details on our key growth initiatives at our upcoming investor day,” Gass said.

Kohl’s forecasted diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2019 to fall between $4.75 and $4.95. Based on holiday sales performance, the company expects diluted earnings per share to fall on the low end of that guidance range.

BizTimes Milwaukee recently named Gass its Best in Business 2019 CEO of the Year. Read more about her approach to leadership here.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer started as an intern reporter at BizTimes in summer 2015. She currently covers entertainment, sports, tourism and restaurants. In May 2017, she graduated with a journalism degree from Marquette University where she worked as an in-depth projects reporter for the Marquette Wire and Marquette Tribune.