MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- Kohl's saw its first-quarter profit nearly quadruple from a year ago as it cut costs. But a key sales figure fell, and its stock tumbled more than 6 percent Thursday.
The department store operator said it will try to attract more shoppers by offering more outside famous brands and cutting down on the number of in-house clothing brands it sells. The addition of Under Armour workout tights, sneakers and other gear in March was a hit with customers, Kohl's said, and helped boost sales of its entire active apparel department even as its women's, children's and accessories units saw a drop in sales.
Kohl's announced it will start selling Clarks shoes for the back-to-school shopping season and is looking for other brands to add to store aisles. The chain said it will still offer the best-selling of its private-label brands, such as Sonoma, Croft & Barrow and Apt. 9, but others might get the boot or be reduced.
Overall, Kohl's said sales fell 2.7 percent at established stores during the February to April period. Analysts expected that figure to fall 0.6 percent, according to FactSet.
That key sales figure also fell at rival Macy's Inc., which reported Thursday a 5.2 percent sales decline at established stores during the first quarter, as more people shift to shopping online.
Kohl's earned $66 million, or 39 cents per share, in the quarter ending April 30, compared with earnings of $17 million, or 9 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. That beat the 28 cents per share that analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Revenue fell 3 percent to $3.84 billion in the period, falling short of the $3.86 billion that analysts expected, according to Zacks.
Shares of Kohl's Corp., based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, fell $2.47, or 6.1 percent, to $37.85 in afternoon trading Thursday.
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