Kohl's, J.C. Penney drop after posting declines in holiday sales

Kohl's, J.C. Penney drop after posting declines in holiday sales”

Kohl's Corp.'s stock is in the red in Thursday premarket trading after the retailer reported dismal holiday revenues. However, the gap between winners and losers is widening.

The retailer reported that its comparable sales for the holiday period (fiscal November and December) decreased 0.2% amid weakness in women's apparel. Stores like T.J. Maxx, which offer deep discounts on coveted brands, also have been resonating with shoppers.

The retailer said that its adjusted same-store sales - which exclude the impact of its exit from major appliance and furniture categories - were down just 5.3%. Soltau has redirected the company to women's clothing and home furnishings, such as towels and sheets, which have higher profit margins.

However, much remains to be done to bring buyers back. "This is a make or break year for the company and, sadly, these latest numbers suggest things will be more break than make".

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Kohl's recorded a 0.2% drop despite a number of new initiatives launched by CEO Michelle Gass. Kohl's had also announced that they would be partnering up with Amazon, allowing customers nationwide to buy and return products such as Echo dot speakers at its stores. The company said it saw an increase in customer traffic as a result of this decision. Activity was slowed by Victoria's Secret, which suffered a 12% drop in same-store sales.

The company, which also owns Pink and Bath & Body Works, said it now expects fourth-quarter earnings of $1.85 a share.

It also followed a tough third quarter report Wednesday from Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ: BBBY), which blamed the calendar shift of Thanksgiving and the resulting shorter holiday season for an 8.3% drop in comps that continued to drop its stock on Thursday, with shares down 17.48% to $13.72.

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.

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