Activist Investors Nominate Nine Directors to Kohls Board – The Wall Street Journal

A group of activist investors has a big stake in Kohl’s Corp. and is attempting to take control of the department-store chain’s board, according to people familiar with the matter.

A group that includes activists Macellum Advisors GP LLC, Ancora Holdings Inc. and Legion Partners Asset Management LLC, as well as 4010 Capital LLC, controls a combined 9.5% stake in Kohl’s and earlier this year nominated nine people to its now-12-person board, the people said.

Neither the size of the stake nor the board bid previously has been revealed.

The trio of activists, which previously teamed up on a campaign that remade the board of housewares retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., thinks Kohl’s isn’t moving fast enough to address stagnant sales and declining operating margin, issues that predate the pandemic, the people said.

The company’s operating margin fell to 6.1% in 2019 from 11.5% in 2011, while its sales were little changed. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, and total revenue fell 25% to $9.8 billion in the nine months ended Oct. 31. Losses for the period totaled $506 million compared with a profit of $426 million a year before.