Word that Macy’s will close 68 stores isn’t quite a shock — especially since so many people know they drive right by Macy’s these days on their way to Kohl’s. But Kohl’s didn’t crush it during the holiday season either. The company reported sales that lagged expectations. Kohl’s has been enormously effective in courting customers’ loyalty with discounts and a reputation for quality, but as people now increasingly keep their favorite retailers on the phones in their pockets, even Kohl’s is struggling to compete with online merchants.
Like Macy’s and mostly unlike Amazon, Kohl’s has actual people stacking its shelves and staffing its registers — and also real estate to pay for. Kohl’s still made a profit, but comparable-store sales dropped 2.1% and the stock got hammered.