Costs bring Kohl's down to Earth
May 14, 2004,
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Once one of America's highest-flying retailers, Kohl's Corp. was headed down to Earth during the first quarter, with profits and same-store sales barely budging from last year's levels as costs climbed.
During a conference call late yesterday to discuss results, Kohl’s executives said that although private label is growing, national brands continue to make up 70 to 75 percent of the assortment. The relatively new Laura Ashley Lifestyle and Gloria Vanderbilt home programs, introduced during the first quarter, are slated for “considerable growth” this fall, according to Kevin Mansell, president.
Putting earnings under pressure during the opening quarter were stalled-out same-store sales and rocketing costs, which more than any offset margin improvement.
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