Activist investor group says Kohl’s earnings show ‘best of worst’ in retail, urges change

A group of activists attempting to take over Kohl’s board of directors delivered a speech on Friday saying the retailer’s recent quarterly financial performance was poor, indicating the need for a revised strategy.

Activist investor group says Kohl’s earnings show ‘best of worst’ in retail, urges change

“The board of directors appears to be satisfied with the worst-performing company in the retail sector,” the organization said in a letter to Kohl’s shareholders. meet the performance. Shareholder Needs. ”

He added, “Kohl’s has a very good location outside of the mall which has a distinct advantage, but that also means Kohl’s is outside of the mall to compete with successful players such as TJX, Ross Stores, Target, Old Navy and Burlington . ”

The investor group – Macellum Advisors, Ancora Holdings, Legion Partners Asset Management and 4010 Capital – owns a 9.5% stake in Kohl.

In late February, Kohl’s rejected her attempt to take control of her board of directors as it would undermine her drive to restructure her company.

When Kohl’s announced its fourth-quarter earnings earlier this week, it exceeded Wall Street expectations and hinted that its initiatives to drive revenue growth (such as the one it is expected to partner with cosmetics retailers) will be stronger in 2021 and share repurchases.

In addition, he gave some new details to ease the frustration of the activists, including the fact that Kohl’s added 2 million new customers in 2020 through Amazon’s returns service.

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Activists said Friday they were still skeptical about whether the Cool Amazon program would boost profits.

A Kohl’s spokeswoman told CNBC in an emailed statement that activists compared financial performance for 2019 to expectations for 2021, “given the ongoing global pandemic, this is absurd.”

“Comments from activists and data they follow show that they are focused on short-term recovery, but at the expense of sustainable success,” he said. He added, “We reject the activists’ short term and reject their attempts to disrupt our efforts on this critical issue.” Moment. momentum. We remain open and interested in new ideas that can help us increase the value of the company and shareholders. ”

On Friday afternoon, Kohl’s stock fell nearly 2%. In the past 12 months, the stock has risen nearly 50%. Kohl’s has a market cap of $ 8.64 billion, which is higher than the market value of Nordstrom and Macy’s.

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