Thursday, April 22, 2021
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Reeling Retailers

J.C. Penney and Kohl’s gave investors reason to worry

after their first quarter earnings highlighted the

competitive challenges and shifting trends facing

department store operators.

Kohl’s stock suffered its worst loss in over two years,

plunging 12% to a 17-month low. J.C. Penny fell 7%.

Penney reported a surprisingly wide loss on lower

sales during the first quarter. Kohl’s cut its fiscal 2020

profit outlook as it struggled with slumping sales.

The chains’ reports contrasted sharply with rival

Macy’s, which smashed Wall Street estimates last week

and reported an increase in a key sales measure.

Increasing competition from off-price retailers like T.J.

Maxx and online shopping hubs like Amazon have forced

the industry’s biggest players to try reinventing

themselves. They’ve expanded online services and

become more selective about which products they sell.

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