Kohl’s Corp., the fourth- largest U.S. department-store chain, expects Internet sales to climb at least 30 percent this year as it boosts advertising through sites including AOL.com.
“We have a lot of opportunity to grow” online, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mansell, 57, said yesterday in a telephone interview.
The chain’s Internet sales trail Macy’s Inc., the second- largest U.S. department-store chain, and J.C. Penney Co., the third-biggest, the CEO said. Sears Holdings Corp. is the biggest U.S. department-store chain.
Kohl’s, based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, plans to increase Internet advertising by 25 percent this holiday shopping season, he said. The chain is working to grab customers from department-store chains that liquidated as consumer spending waned, such as Gottschalks Inc. and Mervyn’s LLC.
The retailer has also stepped up radio and direct-mail advertising, and is sponsoring home pages at AOL.com, MSN.com and Yahoo.com during some merchandise promotions. A Kohl’s Facebook site started in May has about 750,000 members, and is expected to count 1 million by year-end, Mansell said.
Jewelry, home goods and labels exclusive to Kohl’s, such as LC Lauren Conrad by the former star of the series “The Hills,” should emerge as top online categories for the retailer, Mansell said. He said the Conrad brand has had “exceptional” sales.
Kohl’s has also increased advertising to Spanish-speaking shoppers as it expands in California and Florida, Mansell said.
Kohl’s rose 77 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $57.59 at 9:52 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares rose 57 percent this year through yesterday.