Kohl's Corp posted a lower quarterly profit on Thursday, as consumers were careful about buying unnecessary items in a recession.

Net profit fell to $137 million or 45 cents per share, in the first quarter ended May 2 from $153 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.

Sales rose about 0.4 percent to $3.64 billion.

Kohl's, like other department stores, has been hit hard by consumer thrift as shoppers seek to spend only on items they really need in the economic slump, such as food or medicine.

(Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)