Kohl’s swings to surprise loss as margins crumble on steep discounts
The department store operator’s shares dropped nearly 7% in premarket trading and triggered a 2% fall in shares of rivals Macy’sNordstrom
Surging costs of rent and food over the last year have forced customers to cut back on spending on non-essential products, pushing Kohl’s and other retailers into steeper discounts and promotions to clear excess stocks of casual apparel.
Those discounts were the major contributor to a more than 10 percentage point decline in fourth-quarter gross margins to 23%, Kohl’s said.
The company is especially hard hit as the lower-income customers it typically caters to are among the worst hit from surging prices.
Kohl’s reported a loss of $2.49 per share for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, compared with estimates for a profit of 98 cents.
The results reflect “sales pressure driven by the ongoing persistent inflationary environment,” newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Tom Kingsbury said in a statement.
The company expects fiscal 2023 earnings per share of $2.10 to $2.70, compared with analysts’ estimates of $3.20, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
U.S. retailers including Walmart and Target
Comparable sales at Kohl’s fell 6.6% in the fourth quarter, compared with analysts’ estimate of a 3.7% decrease.
Separately, apparel maker Abercrombie & Fitch