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In Kohl’s vs. the Coronavirus, Kohl’s is Looking to Win

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No brick-and-mortar retailer is going unscathed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdown, but some like Kohl's  (KSS) - Get Kohl's Corporation Report are certainly coming back swinging.

The department store chain on Tuesday reported a fiscal first-quarter loss and a hit to sales that was much wider than analysts’ forecasts as the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown took an even deeper toll than expected.

With the U.S. economy all but closed from mid-March, all brick-and-mortar retailers are facing stunning first-quarter losses. J.C. Penney (JCP) - Get Report was the most recent victim, filing for bankruptcy protection late last Friday, while preppy retailer J.Crew filed for bankruptcy less than two weeks ago

Kohl's is looking to rebound, however, with the company announcing that it has recently reopened about 50% of its stores across the country, CEO Michelle Gass said.

“As we look ahead, we know this experience will have a lasting impact to customer behavior and the retail landscape, and we are evolving our strategies to ensure our relevance and to capture market share,” she said.

Retailers like Kohl's were already facing competition from the likes of (AMZN) - Get Report before the pandemic forced closures and led to a massive drop in consumer demand for non-essential goods like clothing and accessories, their bread and butter. 

One thing Kohl's does have going for it, however, is its relationship with Amazon, specifically its deal to take returns for the online giant - something it started on a trial basis in 2017 and expanded to its 1,150 locations nationwide at the end of last year.

The move was seen as a benefit to Kohl's as consumers physically returning Amazon packages were seen as more likely to to stay and shop.


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