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Home continues to lag at Kohl’s

Menomonee Falls, Wis. – In a weak overall home business at Kohl’s Corp. during the second quarter, soft home performed so poorly that expectations for the category through yearend are bleak, the company reported during its earnings release yesterday afternoon.

“Soft home was definitely significantly worse than the rest of the store and was significantly worse than home, which underperformed the store to begin with,” said president Kevin Mansell during the company’s quarterly conference call. “It’s definitely a category that is probably going to be difficult throughout the fall.”

That’s not to say Kohl’s is giving up on home textiles. The 957-unit mid-tier department store chain is in the process of “making changes” to resuscitate the category.

“We’re looking harder at value in there for sure. Some of those categories are very basic categories. New bath towel purchases or new sheet purchases or bedding purchases aren’t going to be heavily driven by strong value offer,” he said. “Secondarily, we’re looking at applying more of our brand ideas that have been successful elsewhere to a larger part of the soft home business.”

While home was not alone at the bottom during the second quarter and year to date, when “all lines of business and all regions reported a decrease in comp sales,” Mansell said.

Profit for the quarter ended Aug. 2 fell 12.3% to $236 million, or 77 cents per share – beating Wall Street’s expectation of 73 cents per share. Sales rose 3.8% to $3.7 billion, while comps fell 4.6%.

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