“With the continued acceleration of our digital business, our stores are doing an amazing job supporting our fulfillment strategies, fulfilling close to 40% of digital units during this quarter,” says CEO Michelle Gass.
The retailer also outpaced projections in same-store sales. But it wasn’t enough to inspire investors after the company’s shares neared record highs in recent sessions.
Same-store sales rose 3.1% in the quarter ended Aug. 4. Analysts had expected an increase of 2.6%, according to Consensus Metrix. Excluding some items, profit per share also topped estimates in the period, while revenue of $4.3 billion was slightly higher than projections.
“[We are] broadly investing in our omnichannel and digital experiences that have delivered such tremendous benefit to us, such as the smartcard, Your Price, some of the efficiencies that we’re starting to see elsewhere in the business,” says Kohl’s chief financial officer Bruce Besanko.
But the retailer now joins department-store peer Macy’s Inc. in watching its shares decline in spite of a largely positive quarterly result. Last week, Macy’s, which had also advanced sharply this year, plunged 16% after earnings.
Gass, who took the helm in May, has been trying to distance Kohl’s from its peers. The chain has managed to keep its stores open while retailers including J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (No. 31), Macy’s (No. 6) and Sears Holdings Corp. (No. 24) have been forced to shutter weaker locations.
“Retail stocks heading into the second quarter are priced for perfection or more,” said Poonam Goyal, a senior analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Sometimes a decent beat and good quarter just isn’t enough.”
Kohl’s, which has a larger market capitalization than the others, has also teamed up with companies such as Aldi supermarkets and Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1). Shoppers can test out Amazon electronics in some stores and return other merchandise purchased on Amazon at certain locations.
Last week, J.C. Penney plunged to historic lows after its second-quarter same-store sales missed estimates, and the company put more items on clearance to sell excess inventory. Nordstrom Inc. was a bright spot for the industry: The company’s comparable sales were almost four-times higher than analysts projected.