Soft Home 'Particularly Good'
By Cecile B. Corral -- Home Textiles Today, 11/14/2005 12:00:00 AM
Menomonee Falls, Wis. — —
Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl's Corporation's 3.5 percent comp increase during the third quarter was led in part by the soft home category, which was “particularly good.”
Kevin Mansell, president, attributed the growth in soft home to the work of Chris Capuano — who joined the company last fall as executive vice president and general merchandise manager for the home and footwear divisions — and her team.
“As we talked about in August at the analyst conference, we kind of felt that some of the things that were being developed in home would start to bear fruit in the fourth quarter, and we've got more of those going,” Mansell said. “The improvement (in home) is pretty widespread, but I would say soft home first and housewares second.”
He added that Kohl's is encouraged by the home category's continuing growth, “as its share of business increases significantly in the fourth quarter.”
Improved inventory levels, which were down 6 percent per store on an average store basis, were also reported for the quarter.
“We continue to make great progress in the overall level, the flow and the allocation of our inventory,” Mansell said. “This is leading to improved margins, better in-stock and an improved in-store experience as we match better receipts with sales.”
This inventory reduction level, compared with last year, is making way for the flow of significant levels of new receipts in the fourth quarter and will allow for a better transition out of the quarter, he added.
The company expects inventory turn to improve and for average inventory per store to be up low single digits at the end of the fourth quarter.
Kohl's also plans to fine-tune assortments on a per-unit basis beginning with direct import apparel.
“Then we'll go through the whole store and see area by area and supplier by supplier where we can make the most impact,” he said.
In merchandising, new opportunities are being discovered in “better and best” price-point brackets across the board, Mansell said.
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