Kohl’s swings to surprise loss as margins crumble on steep discounts

Kohl’s swings to surprise loss as margins crumble on steep discounts





The department store operator’s shares dropped nearly 7% in premarket trading and triggered a 2% fall in shares of rivals Macy’sNordstrom

Surging costs of rent and food over the last year have forced customers to cut back on spending on non-essential products, pushing Kohl’s and other retailers into steeper discounts and promotions to clear excess stocks of casual apparel.

Those discounts were the major contributor to a more than 10 percentage point decline in fourth-quarter gross margins to 23%, Kohl’s said.

The company is especially hard hit as the lower-income customers it typically caters to are among the worst hit from surging prices.

Kohl’s reported a loss of $2.49 per share for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, compared with estimates for a profit of 98 cents.

The results reflect “sales pressure driven by the ongoing persistent inflationary environment,” newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Tom Kingsbury said in a statement.

The company expects fiscal 2023 earnings per share of $2.10 to $2.70, compared with analysts’ estimates of $3.20, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

U.S. retailers including Walmart and Target

Comparable sales at Kohl’s fell 6.6% in the fourth quarter, compared with analysts’ estimate of a 3.7% decrease.

Separately, apparel maker Abercrombie & Fitch


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