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Specialty departmental store Kohl’s Corporation (KSS - Analyst Report) recently opened nine new stores, with two stores in Iowa, two in Pennsylvania, and one each in Alabama, Illinois, North Dakota, Oregon and Texas. These stores have created 950 jobs across the nation and raised the Kohl’s store count to 1,155 stores across 49 states. In addition, Kohl’s has plans to remodel 30 locations in fiscal 2013.

Kohl’s new stores are well-designed and provide a number of features including updated checkout stations, newly designed shopping carts and strollers, larger customer service area, Wi-Fi, upgraded fitting rooms and many more. Eight of the new stores have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which enables Kohl’s to use more than 20% recycled and 20% regionally sourced building materials, cool white ENERGY STAR-rated roofs and water-efficient landscaping and plumbing fixtures and many other attributes.

Kohl’s did not open or close any store in the quarter, results of which were reported on Feb 28. During fiscal 2012, Kohl's opened 21 new stores, including 1 relocated store, closed 1 store and completed 50 remodels.

Kohl’s fourth quarter earnings of $1.66 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.63 per share but lagged the prior-year earnings figure due to loss of sales during the holiday season. Net sales exceeded both the Zacks Consensus Estimate and prior-year sales, driven by an increase in comparable store sales. Strong growth of leading brands and improved performance from children’s, men’s and women’s categories drove sales.

Kohl’s now has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other consumer staples stocks that warrant a look include Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc (GMCR - Analyst Report), Fred’s Inc (FRED - Analyst Report) and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cotta (NGVC - Snapshot Report). Green Mountain carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Fred’s and Natural Grocers hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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