Kohl's downbeat on annual profit after weak holiday sales; shares fall

Daniel Fowler
January 11, 2020

Strong online sales boosted the results.

Macy's is closing 29 stores in coming weeks despite the company reporting some improvement in comparable-stores sales during the crucial holiday shopping season.

At L Brands, which operates Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, the figure dropped 3%.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) - down as much as 19%.

Macy's comparable sales fell 0.6% during the holiday season. Off-price chains such as TJX Cos. have also logged healthy sales.

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In early afternoon trading, both J.C. Penney's and Kohl's shares were down around 10%. Adjusted comps, which excluded the impact of its exit from major appliance and in-store furniture categories, also decreased 5.3%. "This is a year of success or break for the company and, unfortunately, these latest figures suggest that things will be more break than creation".

J.C. Penney, which is trying to claw its way back from a disastrous reinvention plan back in 2012, says sales at stores opened at least a year dropped 7.5% for the November and December period. Its shares were down 8.3% to $45.30, as of 9:00 a.m. ET.

"We are managing the business with discipline and we expect to deliver on our earnings guidance for the full year", Chief Executive Michelle Gass said.

L Brands said comparable sales, which include sales from company-owned stores in North America open at least a year and digital sales, fell 3% for the nine weeks ended January 4.

Nonetheless, the Cincinnati-based company, which had slashed its full-year profit forecast on November last year blaming a lag in mall traffic alongside a bleak outlook in global tourism amid a slowdown fear across the globe, had reported a 0.6 per cent drop in sales in its holiday quarter on a year-on-year basis. It had previously said that it would earn $2 per share in the quarter.

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