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Department store chain Kohl’s Corporation (KSS) stock tanked roughly 15% ahead of Thursday’s bell after it had slashed its fiscal 2016 earnings outlook on late Wednesday, following volatile holiday sales. The weak holiday sales had pushed down shares in the retail sector in extended and premarket trading, such as those of Macy’s, J.C. Penney Co Inc. and Nordstrom Inc.

US department stores have continued to miss opportunities on the spending rally experienced by many retailers and have suffered from competition by online rivals including Amazon.com Inc. Additionally, department store chains have also been hurt by a downtick in demand for clothes and accessories as consumers spent more on big-ticket items like home renovations and cars.

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Kevin Mansell, Kohl's chairman, chief executive officer and president, claimed that the company’s holiday sales were volatile throughout the period, even though it witnessed strong sales on Black Friday and the week before Christmas day. In particular, the said sales edged down 2.1% year-over-year in November and December, forcing it to cut its adjusted profit outlook for the fiscal year ending January 30 to $3.60-$3.65 per share. The previous forecast ranged at $3.80-$4.00.

Gross margin is also seen to be lower than expected due to the mix and timing of the sales and the competitive promotional environment. SG&A expenses are forecasted to remain coinciding with expectations. Inventories per store at the end of the fourth quarter are expected to fall from last year levels in the mid-to-high single digit range.

From a business line perspective, Men’s, Home and Footwear were the strongest categories while Accessories was the most challenging, as mentioned earlier of lower demand in the said segment. On a regional basis, the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were the best performing regions.

The National Retail Federation estimates holiday sales to jump 3.6%. An uptick in spending in the final stretch of December is likely to counterbalance a slow beginning to the holiday shopping season.

Kohl's stock fell $7.93, 15.29%, to $43.95 a share in after-hours trading yesterday. Ahead of today’s bell, KSS dropped $8.13, 15.73% to $43.55. Kohl’s currently has 176.47 million outstanding shares, securing daily stock value of $50.09-51.98 and 52-week stock value of $33.87-59.67.

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Kohl’s is a leading specialty department store with over 1,100 stores in 49 states in the US. The Wisconsin-based company is set to release its fourth quarter and fiscal 2016 results on February 23, 2017 at 7:00 am ET and host its quarterly earnings conference call at 8:30 am ET.

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