Sears comp sales continue to fall, loss in line with forecast


(Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O) continued its streak of declining sales in the third quarter, reporting a double-digit drop in comparable sales at its Sears and Kmart chains.

A Sears logo is seen at a store in Schaumburg, Illinois, September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

Sales at Sears stores open for more than a year fell 17 percent in the quarter ended Oct. 28, while comparable sales at Kmart fell 13 percent, hurt by closures of pharmacies within some Kmart stores and fewer electronic products available at the chains.

Once the largest U.S. retailer, Sears has struggled as shoppers shift from the mall to the web and has closed scores of its weaker Kmart and namesake department stores, striking brand licensing deals and promoting its shopper loyalty program in efforts to turn itself around.

The retailer, which has reported years of losses and declining sales, said on Thursday it would look to diversify its revenue streams through partnerships in its businesses, including Sears Home Services, Innovel, Kenmore and DieHard.

Sears, controlled by billionaire investor Eddie Lampert, said it generated over $270 million through sale of real estate and other assets in the third quarter, and an additional $167 million after the close of the quarter.

The company said it used the proceeds to pay down debt.

Net loss attributable to shareholders was $558 million, in line with the forecast of $525 million to $595 million Sears gave earlier this month, citing store closures.

The retailer posted a loss of $748 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Sriraj Kalluvila

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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