Kohl's Sept. revenue falls at established stores

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. -- Department store operator Kohl's Corp. said Thursday that revenue at stores open at least a year fell 2.7 percent in September, a bigger drop than Wall Street expected, hurt by lower demand for accessories and women's clothing.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a 0.2 percent decline.

This metric is a key gauge of a retailer's health, because it excludes the effect of opening and closing stores. Sales in brand-new shops and stores that are being shut down can skew ongoing business trends.

Total revenue for the five weeks ended Oct. 1 fell 1.4 percent to $1.61 billion.

Kohl's got a boost from its shoe, men's clothing and athletic gear departments. Demand was weaker for accessories and clothing for women and juniors.

Despite the drop in September, the company said it was keeping its third-quarter guidance for profit of 83 to 89 cents per share. Analysts expect profit of 87 cents for the quarter ending on Oct. 27.

Quarter-to-date, revenue in stores open at least one year were nearly unchanged, up 0.2 percent, while total revenue rose 1.7 percent to $3.1 billion.

Year-to-date, revenue in stores open at least one year fell 0.9 percent and total revenue rose 0.8 percent to $11.55 billion.

Kohl's, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., has 1,146 stores in 49 states.

Shares fell 97 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $51.27 in morning trading.