Sears said that its August same-store sales of 3.9 percent tracked ahead of expectations due largely to renewed strength in its core major appliance category.
The No. 1 white goods retailer attributed the majap momentum — an uptick in the low double digits — to an aggressive new strategy, launched last month, that includes more competitive pricing, improved signage and greater in-store stock. (TWICE, June 23, p. 1).
The effort comes in response to majap gains by home improvement channel leaders Lowe's and The Home Depot, which have eaten into Sears' market share. White goods represent some 60 percent of Sears' sales.
Separately, the company announced a "refinement of its business strategy" for its profit-impaired Great Indoors high-end home furnishings emporiums. As part of the plan, Sears will shut three locations this year, convert a fourth to an outlet center and will enhance inventory management, increase product assortment, optimize floor space utilization, and improve product sourcing and vendor strategies.
In the process, Sears will take an after-tax charge of between $75 million and $100 million in the 2003 fiscal third quarter.