Retail Round-Up
Kohl’s Confident on Active; Genesco Withdraws Guidance

Kohl’s remains bullish on the active segment for the entire family. The mid-level department store realized a positive comp for the segment throughout FY19. In the fourth quarter, active apparel comps rose mid-single digits, ahead of footwear’s gain for the period.

Pleased with Nike’s work on the apparel side addressing special sizes, including Big & Tall and Women’s Plus, Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass told analysts last week that enhancements are being made within footwear in anticipation of a “much stronger year ahead” for the segment in 2020. Kohl’s, which continues to see “tremendous upside” for Under Armour within women’s and now has Adidas shop-in-shops in 175 locations, will shortly disclose proprietary brand news within the active segment.

Meanwhile, Genesco is temporarily closing all of its stores from today through March 28 and withdrawing its FY21 guidance announced on March 12 due to COVID-19. The Nashville company had forecast total revenue growth of 3-6 percent this fiscal year on a comparable sales range of -1 percent to +2 percent. In its most recent FY ended Feb. 1, GCO’s Journeys Group reported a 14 percent increase in operating income on 2.8 percent topline growth to more than $1.46 billion. In the fourth quarter, the chain benefitted from strong full-price selling, particularly within key boot offerings, and a record level of digital sales dollar growth. Over the past year, Journeys has expanded and upgraded its distribution center, including a dedicated e-commerce fulfillment center, in order to dispatch orders to customer more quickly and cost efficiently. Recently, Journeys completed work on a call center platform that gathers information from eight disparate systems, including transactional, behavioral and demographic, to better analyze an individual’s past purchases, shipping preferences, social partialities and promotion history to generate more complete customer profiles.

At Zumiez, footwear was the largest negative comping category for the specialty chain in February. Still, the segment represented 18 percent of FY19 revenues versus 17 percent in FY18 and 16 percent FY17. That equals $186.1 million in implied FY19 footwear sales, up 11.8 percent from $166.4 million in FY18.

At Tilly’s, the 240-door retailer will continue to focus on its burgeoning boys’ and girls’ offerings and differentiating its assortment from competitors. In FY19, the segment, without any significant marketing behind it, posted nearly $70 million in total net sales between apparel and footwear.