Kohl’s fourth-quarter earnings topped analysts’ estimates, as customers turned to online shopping during the pandemic

Kohl’s store in the US.

Kohl’s┬áCorp topped estimates for holiday-quarter net sales on Tuesday, as people staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic bought more from the department store chain’s online store.

Shares of the mid-priced chain rose 2% as it reinstated a quarterly dividend and said it would buy back shares worth between $200 million and $300 million.

Department stores, including Kohl’s, have been doubling down on cookware, kitchen electrics, beauty products, athleisure apparel, and activewear, as they look to beat lower demand for dresses and formal clothing from consumers working from home.

Kohl’s, which started selling Lands’ End Inc’s comfy clothes last year, now plans to launch its own athleisure brand FLX as it looks to increase store space allotted for activewear.

Net sales fell to $5.88 billion in the fourth quarter from $6.54 billion a year earlier. The market expectation was $5.86 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The mid-priced chain said it expects earnings per share to be between $2.45 and $2.95 for 2021, excluding certain charges. It is largely in line with expectation of $2.67 per share.

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