MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis.–Net income for Kohl’s finished the first quarter at $199 million, up 45 percent from the first quarter of last year.
The department-store retailer achieved this boost to the bottom line through a 10.9 percent gain in net sales for the quarter—which totaled $4 billion and which included a 7.4 percent pickup in same-store sales. The sales rise helped increase the company’s gross margin by 50 basis points to 38.1 percent, and led to a 90 basis-point reduction in selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales. SG&A on a dollar basis did grow 7.3 percent in the quarter, while cost of merchandise sold increased 10 percent.
In a Kohl’s statement, Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the company’s sales rise helped achieved its goal of increasing market share. Kohl’s improved its merchandise margins through “strong inventory management and successful private and exclusive brand strategies,” Mansell said, and expenses were “well managed.”