Sears forecasts Q4 loss of $250 million-$360 million as holiday sales fall

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Holdings Corp. forecast a fourth-quarter loss and reported declining sales during the crucial holiday period.

The retailer said it expects a net loss of between $250 million and $360 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to a net loss of $460 million a year earlier. Same-store sales dropped 5.7% in the quarter through Jan. 6 at Kmart, and 9.2% at U.S. Sears stores , resulting in a for a companywide decline of 7.4%. Both brands reported weaker consumer electronic sales, while Sears domestic stores' also reported lower tools and home appliance sales, while Kmart was stung by falling demand for grocery, household products and toys.

In a blog post, CEO Eddie Lampert said the results "are not nearly what we want them to be."

"They also overshadow all of the work that’s being done by our associates, our vendors and the other businesses we work with, along with everyone who is developing better ways for us to serve our members," he added.

Lampert went on to say that the company is continuing to invest in new technology that will allow customers to shop in new ways, such as through their smart phones

In one possible piece of good news, Sears reported it is seeing continued increases in its Shop Your Way (SYW) member engagement metrics with 69% of sales in the nine-week period ended Jan. 4, 2014 derived from members as compared to 58% last year. For the holiday period Sears spent $69 million more on SYW points expense, compared to the same period the previous year.


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