By and  on February 25, 2010

Increased penetration from private and exclusive brands helped Kohl’s Corp. boost its gross margins and post a 28.3 percent increase in profits during the fourth quarter.

On the company earnings call Thursday, Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and chief executive officer, told analysts that women’s apparel and footwear had the greatest gains in fourth-quarter revenues for the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based midtier retailer. The better results in women’s came from a “substantial improvement in our key private brand performance of Sonoma, Croft & Barrow and Apt. 9, as all three achieved double-digit positive [comparable-store sales growth] for the fourth quarter and positive comps for the year,” said Mansell.

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