Call on prosperityJanuary 25, 2013 | Access and use are subject to your User Service Agreement.
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CALL ON PROSPERITY Janna Ryan, wife of the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, wore a $70 printed Dana Buchman dress on the day her husband's candidacy was announced in August. You wonder if it was the right thing to do. Kohl's Corp. (KSS on the New York Stock Exchange), retailer to the American middle class, proceeded to have just as forgettable a 2012 as the Republican ticket did. No time for regrets, however. We write to propose that Kohl's is on the mend (never mind the GOP). Management is taking concrete steps to address the problems of 2012--and of 2011, too--while improvements in national hiring and wage growth may presage a more optimistic Kohl's shopper. But whatever macroeconomic gifts the gods may bestow or withhold, management continues to repurchase stock at the prevailing deflated valuation. Count us bullish. The first Kohl's store opened in Brookfield, Wis., in 1962. Fifty-one years later, there are 1,146 Kohl's locations generating $19 billion of sales. Private-label merchandise is a specialty of the house: Marc Anthony, Food Network, Vera Wang, Candie's, among others. Another corporate trademark is oblong, wide-aisle store design--"racetrack" is the name of the concept. In-store electronic signage, handy for markdowns, or--thinking ahead to the Fed's QE 5, 6 and 7--high-frequency markups, is still another. One way to think about Kohl's is how little it resembles Macy's. For instance, Kohl's prefers to locate in strip, not shopping malls, and in the Midwest as opposed to the East. Some 53% of Kohl's revenues are ...
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