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Kohl's revamped ecommerce ignites Q3

Menomonee Falls, Wis. - Buoyed by a turnaround in its ecommerce business, which has doubled sales from a year ago, Kohl's Corp. ended the third quarter on a high note, setting the stage for what the department store chain hopes will be a better holiday season than last year.

Kohl's ecommerce sales in the quarter increased 50% to $295 million from the year ago period, and year to date rose 41% to $782 million. The effect on comp was 230 basis points for the quarter and 190 basis points for the 39 weeks, explained Wes McDonald, svp and cf..

"We're continuing to gain market share with customers," he said. "We've invested a lot of money in digital marketing to drive traffic to the site, we just installed guided navigation, and we expect that to be a benefit for the holiday season. We've increased the number of skus we have online...we've been behind some of our competition, but we are catching up very rapidly."

He added that the company, which operates 1,146 stores in 49 states, is now doing online order fulfillments not just from its ecommerce centers but also from its seven distribution centers for its stores nationwide.

Consistent with expectations, net income for the quarter ended Oct. 27 rose 1.9% to $215 million, or 91 cents per share. Sales were up
2.6% to $4.4 billion, with comps up 1.1%.

Home category comped positive, but below the company average. Strength within the department came from bedding, bath and electrics.

Kohl's private and exclusive brands, led by Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, and Princess Vera Wang, among some others, accounted for 53% of quarterly sales, up about 150 basis points over the year ago period.

Year to date, net income jumped 14.8% to $609 million, or $2.54 per share. Sales rose 1.2% to $12.9 billion; with comps dipping 0.5% dip.

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