Sears still ‘fighting to survive’

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Sears still ‘fighting to survive’

By Louisa Hallett - 09/17/2018
Sears reported another quarterly loss after its Chief Executive Officer called the company’s struggles a fight for survival.

Sears reported another quarterly loss after its Chief Executive Officer called the company’s struggles a fight for survival.

The company announced a net loss attributable to Holdings' shareholders of $508 million ($4.68 loss per diluted share) for the second quarter, compared to a net loss of $250 million ($2.33 loss per diluted share) for the second quarter of 2017. The company generated total revenues of approximately $3.2 billion during the second quarter of 2018, compared with revenues of $4.3 billion in the prior year quarter, with store closures again significantly contributing to the year over year decline.

"While we are encouraged by the improved comparable stores sales trend we experienced in the second quarter, and the positive comparable store sales of 3 percent and 2.5 percent achieved in the months of July and August, respectively, we have yet to achieve our goal of returning the company to profitability,” said Edward S. Lampert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Holdings. “We continue to close unprofitable stores, and we are hopeful that we can stabilize our store base at a meaningful level in the near future. Our goal is to right-size our store footprint to a solid base from which we can operate and grow profitably, while leveraging our online and Shop Your Way platforms."

Earlier this year Lampert defended his business strategies for Sears and Kmart in his first in-depth interview in 15 years. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lampert explains his vision for Sears and Kmart: He wanted to keep Kmart and Sears stores as close to Walmart as he could get them. “We’re fighting to survive—that’s pretty clear,” Lampert says.

In June, the company informed investors that it has won additional time to repay money borrowed from lenders. Sears Holdings Corp. extended the maturity of two loans totaling about $320 million, originally due next month, to July 2020, spokesman Chris Brathwaite told the newspaper in an email. The new agreement consolidated the two loans with a third existing loan. In total, Sears has about $779 million due in 2020, secured by 69 Sears-owned real estate properties, Sears disclosed Monday in a regulatory filing.