Sears Posts Deeper Loss, Open Thanksgiving A.M.

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Sears Holdings reported deeper losses and lower sales year on year in its fiscal third quarter, ended Oct. 30.

Net losses in the quarter were $218 million, higher than the prior year’s $127 million. Total revenues for the quarter were down $512 million, to $9.7 billion, from the prior year’s $10.2 billion.

The decline in total revenue for the quarter was primarily a result of a 4.8 percent decrease in domestic comp-store sales and the effect of having fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores in operation.

Sears Domestic sales were $5.142 billion in the quarter compared with the prior year’s $5.507 billion. The operating loss was $271 million for the quarter, compared with an operating loss of $123 million in the prior year.

For Kmart sales were $3.381 billion, compared with $3.476 billion in the prior year. The operating loss was $56 million in the quarter, compared with an operating loss of $72 million last year.

The domestic comp-store sales decrease included declines of 0.7 percent at Kmart and 8.2 percent at Sears Domestic.

Kmart’s quarterly decrease in comp-store sales was partially offset by increases in consumer electronics, among other categories.

Sears Domestic’s sales decline was primarily driven by declines in home appliances and consumer electronics, among other categories, which had greater decreases in October.

The decline in sales of home appliances primarily resulted from overall softness in the appliance market, a lower average selling price realized during the quarter and the effects of delays in transition to new Kenmore products during the quarter.

Just prior to releasing its fiscal third quarter report Sears announced it would open for the first time on Thanksgiving morning nationwide, from 7 am to 12 noon.

Sears said in a statement explaining the move, “In balancing its commitment to meeting customer needs with its commitment to associates, Sears decided to be open for limited hours on Thanksgiving and, where practical, to fill the schedules with associates who volunteered to work that day and seasonal associates. Given the tough economic times many folks are facing, Sears has seen demand from associates who want the opportunity to supplement their usual income with the holiday pay premium.”

David Friedman, senior VP and marketing president, Sears Holdings, said, “We are always listening to our customers to make their shopping experience easier, and now, by being open on Thanksgiving, they can start their shopping early or pick up last-minute items needed for their Thanksgiving celebration.”


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