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Kohl’s Says Coronavirus Isn’t Impacting One Type of Demand

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Mar 13, 2020 at 10:30AM

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The retailer has noticed a slip in sales in areas most affected by COVID-19, but e-commerce is another matter.

Kohl's (KSS -4.00%) on Friday issued an update on its latest demand trends as the coronavirus pandemic changes people's shopping behavior.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the department store chain noted weaker sales in a few key markets, but said it is seeing no impact to date on its e-commerce channel.

A woman checks her phone while shopping.

Image source: Getty Images.

As part of an announcement that it was postponing its investor conference, originally scheduled for March 16, Kohl's management revealed details about its sales pace over the last week or so. Demand is softening in the areas most affected by the virus, executives said, but the COVID-19 pandemic has thus far had no impact on digital demand.

Wall Street has been bracing for bad sales-trend news from Kohl's and its retailing peers in relation to the coronavirus' spread through the U.S. While Friday's update doesn't preclude a sharp demand drop, it also doesn't describe the kind of traffic nosedive that many investors have feared. The economic situation is fluid, though, and could change rapidly.

In the meantime, shareholders will have to wait until Kohl's next earnings update to see if the retailer is still on track to post stable sales in its fiscal 2020.

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