The world of retail-department stores has changed drastically over the past several years, due in large part to the convenience of online shopping. Gone are the days when the family would pile into the car and spend the day at the shopping mall. In fact today, many once-thriving mall locations are sitting idle and empty and awaiting the wrecking ball.
Is retail shopping as we know it a dying industry?
Over the past decade or so, the continued conveniences of shopping online with click of a mouse (or touch of a screen) have allowed consumers to save a great deal of time and effort in purchasing the items they need.
Yet, some large retailers are continuing to entice customers into their physical locations by offering additional incentives, as well as a pleasant shopping experience. One such retailer is Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS). This corporation, founded in 1962, operates more than 1,100 department stores across the U.S.
In the most recent quarter, Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) produced overall sales of $6.3 billion – led primarily by an increase in demand for toys. This made the company’s children’s segment the strongest-yearly performer. The firm also saw a slight rise in sales in the area of men’s and women’s sportswear.
One bump in the road for Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) came last year when the firm had holiday pricing issues, which ultimately led to a failure in the company’s expected seasonal sales. Subsequently, one of its 2013 goals is to remain focused on its pricing strategies.
Although Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) sales inched up slightly for the fiscal year 2012, its overall financial performance was marred somewhat due to an increase in costs. This brought the firm’s net income down by 15% as compared to the prior year. With this in mind, investors who are seeking growth should be somewhat leery – although the company’s still-strong dividend could make a share purchase worthwhile.
Giants no more
Some of the once-giant anchor department stores are losing sales, market share, customers, and profits quite quickly to both online retailers and those with more aggressive pricing techniques.
Recently, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has seen its share price trading at its lowest level in more than a decade. One reason for this is the issue of company’s top management. Former CEO Ron Johnson, who took the helm less than 18 months ago, saw sales plummet by 25% over the past year as he attempted to try a new pricing strategy. Yet his eventual ouster is still not a guarantee that things will turn around anytime soon.