The death of department stores? Not so fast.

Kohl’s (kss, -5.80%) on Thursday reported better-than-expected financial results as shoppers who had stayed away in droves earlier in the year starting showing up again just in time for back-to-school shopping season. In addition, the retailer’s efforts to manage its inventory more efficiently lifted profit.

In the quarter ended July 29, Kohl’s comparable sales (a metric that excludes new and recently closed stores) fell 0.4%, not great, but not nearly as severe as the 1.5% drop Wall Street analysts feared, according to Consensus Metric. Even better, Kohl’s net income rose to $208 million, or $1.24 per share, above the $1.19 expected by analysts. And this despite net sales falling 1% to $4.14 billion.

Kohl’s shares rose 4% in premarket trading. Rivals J.C. Penney (jcp, -8.72%), Macy’s (m, -10.25%) and Dillard’s (adds) are reporting their results this week, while