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Kohl’s misses as Q3 earnings fall 18%; lowers full-year outlook

BY Dan Berthiaume

Menomonee Falls, Wis. – Kohl’s Corp. missed Wall Street forecasts with a generally poor showing in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 that saw the retailer’s net income fell 18% to $177 million from $215 million a year ago. The chain lowered its full-year earnings forecast.

In addition, net sales dropped 1% to $4.44 billion, from $4.49 billion. Same-store sales fell 1.6%.

Kohl’s blamed the unexpected fall in same-store sales, as well as declining margins, for its steep drop in net income. Wall Street analysts had expected a better net income performance and also predicted net sales of $4.55 billion.

Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and CEO of Kohl’s, struck an optimistic tone with comments about the retailer’s holiday marketing efforts driving market share growth.

“As we enter the holiday season, we believe we are well-positioned from a merchandise content and inventory perspective to gain market share,” said Mansell. “We have increased our marketing spending and improved its impact and reach in order to drive higher traffic to our stores and on-line.”

Despite Mansell’s optimism, the chain issued a less than jolly fourth-quarter sales and earnings forecast. The company said it expects total sales to decline between 2% and 4% and same store sales to be flat to down 2%. As a result, Kohl’s forecast fourth quarter profits in the range of $1.59 to $1.74, with analysts’ consensus estimate at $1.69. The retailer lowered its full year profit forecast to a range of $4.08 to $4.23 per share from a prior forecast of $4.15 to $4.35 per share.

Kohl’s also announced new merchandising initiatives involving Juicy Couture and Izod, with the programs hitting stores in the fall of 2014.

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Gordon Bros. appoints co-presidents to bolster retail division

BY CSA STAFF

Gordon Brothers Group, a global advisory, restructuring and investment firm specializing in the retail, consumer products, industrial and real estate sectors, has named Robert E. Grosskopf and Richard P. Edwards as co-presidents of the retail division.

They will jointly assume responsibility for the division’s growth strategy while overseeing all client engagements and daily operations.

Kevin J. Kulinowski, having served as president of the retail division for the past three and a half years will assume the position of senior adviser charged with maximizing asset values, project strategy, due diligence and appraisal valuations as well as working with key clients.

"Given Bob and Rick’s combined 40 years at Gordon Brothers and strong relationships in the industry, this transition will be seamless and position the retail division extremely well for the future," stated Ken Frieze, president of Gordon Brothers Group. "Rick, Bob and Kevin have spent many years working together to guide the retail division. While their roles are changing, their continued partnership promises to maintain the retail division as the market leader for event-driven inventory and fixture solutions for retailers, their lenders and advisors.”

Gordon Brothers Group has also hired Andrew H. Stone as managing director of field operations in the retail division. Stone has more than 25 years of retail experience and has held previous senior management positions at Office Depot. Stone will work closely with Kulinowski, spending time alongside Gordon Brothers Group’s field consultants on various projects to gain an inside perspective on the asset disposition business.

"We are excited to continue working with Kevin in this specialized capacity and build upon the strong performance and superior client service that he has fostered over the past three and a half years," said Edwards and Grosskopf in a joint statement. "We look forward to this period of growth for the retail division and the capabilities that Andy brings to the team.”

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Isis unveils upgraded mobile wallet

BY CSA STAFF

Isis, a mobile commerce joint venture created by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, has unveiled its upgraded Isis Mobile Wallet, which allows customers to pay at contactless payment terminals directly from their smartphones.

The mobile wallet — now available to consumers for download in the Google Play app store and at thousands of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless retail stores nationwide — stores virtual versions of a customer’s participating credit or prepaid cards, as well as coupons and merchant loyalty cards. Consumers can select a payment card and tap their smartphones on the point-of-sale terminal.

The upgraded Isis Mobile Wallet features a simplified user interface with a white background and easy-to-navigate toolbars, according to the company. It is also integrated with American Express Serve so consumers who have Amex are able to load funds to their accounts from a U.S. debit or credit card, bank account or through direct deposit, as well as pay bills online and send money to friends and family — depending on eligibility.

"Today’s nationwide launch of the Isis Mobile Wallet is a milestone for consumers, merchants and banks. It’s the start of a smarter way to pay," said Michael Abbott, CEO, Isis. "Together, with our partners, we’ve built a seamless mobile commerce experience. We’re pleased to bring the magic and simplicity of the Isis Mobile Wallet to consumers across the U.S."

Customers with one of the more than 40 Isis Ready smartphones available from AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless can receive a free enhanced SIM card from their wireless carrier and download the Isis Mobile Wallet free from Google Play. Customers who visit a carrier retail store to activate the Isis Mobile Wallet will receive hands-on support from store associates.

Toys "R" Us, Jamba Juice and Coca-Cola vending machines currently accept contactless payments with the mobile wallet.

Isis is not tied to a specific financial institution, merchant or online marketing scheme.

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