Sears Hometown Q1 profit falls 27%

Hoffman Estates, Ill. -- Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. reported  a 27% drop in first-quarter earnings amid a cool spring throughout much of the country and rising costs.  But the company, a spinoff from Sears Holdings Corp., pointed to improving signs in late spring.

Sears Hometown earned $15 million in the quarter that ended May 4, compared with $20.6 million in the year ago period.

Revenue dropped 3% to $601.1 million. Same-store sales fell 5%.

Bruce Johnson, CEO and president, said, "Sales were below last year due to the impact of unseasonably cool weather in February and March.  Same store sales of lawn and garden, our second largest category, were down 45% in the first two months. We were pleased with the improvement during the latter portion of the quarter. With generally more moderate temperatures in April, same store sales for the category during that month were up 4.2%.”

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