May 22, 2013, 11:33 AM

The web grows, but not much else does for Kohl’s in Q1

Kohl’s also updates plans for a new platform and ship-from store.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

It was a mediocre financial performance for Kohl’s Corp. in the first quarter, but the retailer will continue to invest in its growing e-commerce channel.

For the first quarter ended May 4, Kohl’s, No. 26 in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500, reported:

  • E-commerce sales grew year over year about 31.1% to $329 million from $251 million.
  • Total sales decreased 0.9% to $4.20 billion from $4.24 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
  • Comparable-store sales decreased 1.9%.
  • Net income declined year over year 4.5% to $147 million from $154 million.
  • The web accounted for 7.8% of total sales in the first quarter compared with 5.9% in the first quarter of 2012.

“Our e-commerce business has remained strong, and we'll continue to invest in its growth for the long term,” CEO Kevin Mansell told Wall Street analysts on the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

While not divulging many specifics, Kohl’s will continue to expand its e-commerce capability, Mansell told analysts. Before the end of June, Kohl’s will make the switch to a new e-commerce platform from Oracle Corp. from its existing technology platform from RedPrairie, which is part of JDA Software Group Inc. “We are on track to replace our e-commerce platform in the second quarter,” Mansell said. “This upgrade will be virtually invisible to our customer.”

Kohl’s, which has opened several new e-commerce fulfillment centers in the last three years, also is working on a plan to fulfill some e-commerce orders directly from stores. By the holiday shopping season, Kohl’s expects to fulfill some web orders from about 200 of its 1,155 stores in 49 states, although Mansell didn’t provide any other specifics.

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