At its annual shareholders' meeting in Menomonee Falls, Wis., on Wednesday, Kohl's emphasized expansion and the development of exclusive merchandise, while crowing about strong financial results.
For the 12 months ended Feb. 3, net income at the 834-unit chain increased 31.7 percent, to $1.1 billion, compared with $842 million the previous year. Earnings per share increased 36 percent in fiscal 2006 versus fiscal 2005. Total sales advanced 16 percent, to $15.5 billion from $13.4 billion in the year-ago period. Comp-store sales rose 5.9 percent.
Kohl's, which opened 85 units last year, plans to unveil 110 to 115 stores this year, including stores in new markets such as Idaho and Wyoming. Kohl's has said it plans to operate more than 1,200 stores by 2010. The company said it believed all regions in the U.S had significant growth potential.
The retailer in the fall introduced a prototype that features new merchandise displays for fashion trends, directional signing, larger fitting rooms with lounge areas and redesigned customer service and checkout stations. The store design is being implemented in new stores as well as renovated units.
Like all retailers, Kohl's is hungry for exclusive merchandise. The department store chain sells Sag Harbor, Gloria Vanderbilt, Nike, Adidas, Nine & Co., Lee, Levi's, Jockey and proprietary labels Daisy Fuentes, apt. 9, Croft & Barrow and Sonoma.
Competitors such as Wal-Mart, Sears and Kmart have opened design offices in New York in recent years to build relationships in the apparel and manufacturing industries and source exclusive products. Even Goody's Family Clothing, a regional retailer based in Knoxville, Tenn., established a design office in Manhattan last year to provide direction and product development.
Kohl's said it would follow suit and planned to open a New York design office "to support exclusive brands such as Chaps, Candie's, Elle and Simply Vera" by Vera Wang, which is being launched in the fall. Industry sources have said that Simply Vera could develop into a $500 million business for Kohl's by the third year.
The company identified its "two most important initiatives for 2007" as partnership with Vera Wang, which extends to several product categories beyond sportswear, such as accessories, jewelry, footwear and intimate apparel, and with the Food Network for home goods.Brands available only at Kohl's now make up 7 percent of the company's offering. Kohl's said exclusive products would contribute to market share gains and it would work to get a bigger share of customers' wallets in 2007 by developing cross-shopping strategies.
Kohl's shares on Wednesday closed at $73.93, down 71 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty