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Sears Posts $548M Q3 Loss

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — The red ink continues to flow at Sears Holdings.

The troubled chain reported a $548 million loss for its fiscal third quarter ended Nov. 1, compared to a year-ago loss of $534 million.

Net sales slipped nearly 13 percent to $7.2 billion, reflecting store closures, a partial divesture of Sears Canada, and the spinoff of Lands’ End, the company said.

Sears has either closed or announced plans to close a total of 235 locations year-to-date, mostly comprised of underperforming Kmart stores.

U.S. comp sales were essentially flat, reflecting a 0.5 percent increase at Kmart and a 0.7 percent decline at Sears.

The retailer said CE industry trends weighed down its performance, and that excluding electronics, comps would have risen 2.8 percent at Kmart and 1 percent at Sears.

Online and multi-channel sales, which ostensibly include in-store pick-ups of online orders, increased approximately 9 percent year over year, as the chain continued to encourage customer migration to online and mobile shopping.

Selling and administrative expenses fell $251 million, and chief financial officer Rob Schriesheim said Sears’ various spin-offs, share offerings, sub-leasings and loans have generated $2.2 billion in liquidity during the current fiscal year, which will help fund operations through the holiday season and beyond.

“We will continue to strategically monetize assets and manage our resources more efficiently in order to redeploy capital in support of the transformation,” he said, referring to chairman/CEO Edward Lampert’s vision of a membership-focused, multichannel company.