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Kohl's tightens up for holiday

Menomonee Falls, WI — After the "mistakes" in bloated seasonal merchandise during last year's holiday season, Kohl's has scaled back this year, and expects inventories to be up in the single digits at year end, "substantially" lower than the prior period, said Kevin Mansell, president.

However, the retailer will be "100 percent in stock" with core basics and its Get It! and Table and Tower programs, he said during the company's third quarter conference call yesterday evening.

Certain areas of the store deserve a commitment to in-stocks, executives said. Basics and the home area "are where we have a huge opportunity to grow and which we know because of replenishment programs in place and supplier partnerships we can chase the business aggressively," Mansell added. "Our basic businesses throughout the store in apparel and home continue to do well and perform well above last year."

Nonetheless, Kohl's expects comps in November to be flat to down slightly, as "the consumer's tendency is to shop closer to need." Comps for December should post a single digit increase. For the third quarter, home and footwear led the product categories, posting low single-digit increases.

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