Thank you for calling the Kohl’s sales information line. Information provided on this call is related to the press release issued on January 10 for the December fiscal month. Statements made on this call, including projected financial results, are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements.
Such risks and uncertainties include those that are described in Item 1(a) in Kohl’s annual report on Form 10-K and 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 36 hours, but this recording will not be updated. So if you are listening after January 10, it is possible that the information discussed is no longer current.
Total sales for the December fiscal month were approximately $2.7 billion, down 3.4% from the same period a year ago. On a reported basis, comparable store sales decreased 11.4% for the month. On a calendar adjusted basis, comparing the five weeks ended January 5, 2008 to the five weeks ended January 6th, 2007 comparable store sales decreased 0.7%.
Totals sales for the fourth quarter to-date were approximately $4.7 billion, up 5.4% over the same period a year ago. Comparable store sales decreased 3.2% over the last year on a reported basis. On a calendar-adjusted basis, comparing the nine weeks ended January 5, 2008 to the nine weeks ended January 6, 2007, comparable store sales decreased 0.1%.
Year-to-date total sales are up 7.4% over the same period a year ago. Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 0.4%. There were no significant regional performance differences for the month.
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions lead the company for the year-to-date period. Accessories and footwear outperformed the company for the month.
For the year, footwear, accessories and men’s have achieved positive sales increases. As expected, December was impacted by the shift of moving the week after Thanksgiving into fiscal November this year from fiscal December last year. Sales for the month occurred later than expected, resulting in incremental markdowns affecting our gross margin performance. As a result, we now expect fourth quarter earnings of $1.30 to $1.34 per diluted share.
From an inventory standpoint, we have been aggressive in our clearance strategy to ensure we end the year with the appropriate inventory levels. We continue to expect inventory per store to be up low single-digit on a per store basis at the end of the quarter.
We will report January sales on Thursday, February 7. Thank you.
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