Kohl's Corp KSS
Q3 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 11/11/2010

Operator: Good morning. My name is Kanesha, and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to Kohl's Quarter Three 2010 Earnings Release Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session.

Certain statements made on this call include projected financial results are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Kohl's intends forward-looking terminology such as 'believes,' 'expects,' 'may,' 'plans,' or similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which could cause Kohl's actual results to differ materially from those projected in certain forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those that are described in Item 1A in Kohl's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and it may be supplemented from time-to-time in Kohl's other filings with the SEC, all of which are expressly incorporated herein by reference.

Also please note that replays of this call will be available for 30 days, but this recording will not be updated. So if you're listening after August 12, it is possible that the information discussed is no longer current.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Wes McDonald. Sir, you may begin the conference.

Wes McDonald - CFO: Thank you. With me today is Kevin Mansell, our Chairman, CEO and President. I will start off reviewing some of the financial numbers and then Kevin will go through some of our merchandising and marketing initiatives. I will follow-up with some store operations data, as well as earnings guidance and then Kevin will wrap it up.

Total sales for the third quarter were $4.2 billion this year, an increase of 4.1% over last year. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 1.8%, driven by an 8.3% increase in transactions per store. Units per transaction decreased 3.4%, and average unit retail decreased 3.1%, on average transaction value decrease of 6.5%. Year-to-date sales increased 7.4%, $12.4 billion and comparable stores sales increased 4.4%, again on a 8.3% increase in transactions per store.

Partially offsetting the increase in transactions was a 3.9% decrease in average transaction value including a 2.2% decrease in average unit retail and 1.7% decrease in units per transaction. Kevin will provide more color on our sales by region, and line of business in a few minutes.

Our credit share 52.5% for the quarter and 49.7% for the year, an increase of almost 300 basis points over the prior quarter and approximately 235 basis points for the first nine months over the first nine months of 2009. Our gross margin rate for the quarter increased 48 basis points to 38.5%, 8 basis points higher than the 20 to the 40 basis point improvement that we expected. Year-to-date our gross margin rate increased 42 basis points to 38.9%. We would expect fourth quarter gross margin to increase 20 to 40 points over last year.

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