Kohl’s Corporation reported today that total sales for the five-week month ended January 3, 2009 increased 3.6% over the five-week month ended January 5, 2008 to $2.77 billion. On a comparable store basis, sales decreased 1.4%.

Total year-to-date sales decreased 0.1% from the comparable prior year period. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales decreased 6.6%.

Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s president and chief executive officer, commented, “December sales results were aided by last minute shoppers and strong post-Christmas business. Inventory levels, particularly seasonal clearance, are significantly below last year. Going forward, we intend to continue to plan sales and inventory conservatively in order to maximize profitability.”

Given that January is heavily driven by end of season clearance, the company's expectation for January comparable sales performance is a decrease of mid to high teens. The company is comfortable with the First Call consensus of 98 cents per diluted share for the fiscal fourth quarter. Its previous guidance was 90 cents to $1.05 per diluted share.

December Sales Summary
($ in millions)
    Fiscal Period Ended       % Change This Year
Jan. 3,   Jan. 5, All   Comp
2009 2008 Stores Stores

$ 2,769.6

$ 2,672.8

3.6 % -1.4 %
Quarter-to-date 4,515.1 4,696.0





Year-to-date 15,668.5 15,682.4 -0.1