Kohl's pushing e-commerce initiatives

In the retailer's second quarter financial conference call, Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) mapped out future e-commerce plans, which include a buy online, pick up in-store program.

The company is also working to improve its mobile app in an effort to increase online sales by 20 percent, reported Internet Retailer.

Kohl's reported sales of $4.24 billion in the second quarter, up 1.1 percent from the same period last year. The chain did not release any e-commerce figures. However, last year's Web sales amounted to roughly $1.76 billion, up 23.1 percent from 2012.

"I'm especially pleased but not surprised by the renewed momentum in our e-commerce business," Kevin Mansell, CEO, president and chairman of Kohl's, told SeekingAlpha. "Last year, our e-commerce sales were affected by the re-platform from July through October. July sales this year returned to rates that we have not seen since updating our platform last summer. They ran up over 30 percent."

In an effort to drive more sales to Kohl's 1,160 stores, the company will also test a buy online, pick up in-store program in 100 locations this fall.

"Once successful, the pilot will be rolled out to all stores nationwide," Mansell said, adding that the program is meant to give customers another reason to make a visit that they otherwise might not have made.

Mansell also said the retailer will use 800 stores to fulfill online orders, making them e-commerce warehouses. "We think this will improve shipping times and provide additional e-fulfillment capacity during the peak holiday season," he said.

Mansell also predicts an increase in Web traffic through mobile, so the company is working to improve the Khol's app and make it easier for customers to check out.

In spring, Mansell was rumored to be planning a management shake-up as the retailer struggled to boost sales and reorganize the business.

The e-commerce initiative began earlier this year when the retailer announced that online issues led to a surge in unexpected expenses.

For more:
-See this Internet Retailer article
-See this SeekingAlpha transcript

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