Back-to-School Season and Amazon Partnership Give Kohl’s a Sales Boost

A solid back-to-school shopping season and its expanded partnership with Amazon have helped push Kohl’s second-quarter earnings past analysts’ expectations.

Today, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.55, beating Wall Street’s estimates of $1.53. Revenues totaled $4.43 billion — down from last year’s $4.57 billion but ahead of the forecasted $4.2 billion — while profits amounted to $241 million, compared with $292 million the prior year period.

Despite dipping 2.9% in the quarter, same-store sales climbed 1% in the last six weeks of the quarter, which the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer attributed to a gainful showing at the kick-off to back-to-school.

“This positive trend has continued into August,” said CEO Michelle Gass. “We are confident that our upcoming brand launches, program expansions and increased traffic from the Amazon returns program will incrementally contribute to our performance during the balance of the year and beyond.”

As retailers continue to face challenging times, Kohl’s has continued to bet on its partnership with the e-tail behemoth. Last month, the company expanded its Amazon deal, allowing customers who shopped on to make returns to Kohl’s brick-and-mortar locations with no additional fees. The program, which launched in 100 pilot stores two years ago, rolled out in more than 1,150 outposts across the country. (Kohl’s expects the partnership to positively impact sales, as more foot traffic could persuade shoppers to make purchases after they’ve returned their unwanted Amazon items.)

In tandem with its earnings results, Kohl’s reaffirmed its guidance of adjusted annual diluted earnings per share in the range of $5.15 to $5.45. Ahead of market open at 9:00 a.m. ET, shares were up more than 3.5% to $49.99.

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