March 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Total sales fall flat, but annual web sales rise for Kohl’s

In 2008, web sales for Kohl’s grew by 41.4% to $340 million, but comparable store and total sales dropped by 6.9% and 0.5%, respectively.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Comp store sales drooped and total revenue flat lined, but Kohl’s Corp. had one growth driver last year: the Internet

In 2008, web sales for Kohl’s rose by 41.4% to $340 million from $240.5 million in 2007. In comparison comparable store sales for the year decreased by 6.9% while total revenue dropped by 0.5% to $16.39 billion in 2008 from $16.47 billion in 2007. Net income declined by 18.5% from $1.08 billion in 2007 to $885 million in 2008.

Overall the web accounted for 2% of total sales in 2008 vs. 1.5% in 2007.

In the fourth quarter, Kohl’s generated web sales of $31.8 million. Kohl’s didn’t break out specific e-commerce numbers for the fourth quarter of 2007. In Q4, comparable store sales declined by 9.1% and total revenue decreased by 4.6% to $5.23 billion from $5.48 billion in Q4 2007.

Q4 net income for Kohl’s, No. 63 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, fell by 22.1% to $336 million from $412 million in the final quarter of 2007.

Going forward Kohl’s sees its Internet channel, which launched in 2000, as a primary way to drive sales in a tough retail environment, Kohl’s chairman Lawrence Montgomery told analysts on a year-end earnings call. “The Internet business has been very strong and we continue to make a lot of progress,” Montgomery said. “Those combination customers with brick-and-mortar and Internet are obviously our most profitable customers and also lead to high sales. We are very encouraged with that and expect that to continue to grow substantially better than the industry as a whole on the Internet.”

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