Sears Blames Slumping Sales for 1Q Loss
Hoffman Estates, Ill. Sears Holding Corp. reported a $56 million first-quarter loss Thursday. It blamed the fact that consumers were spending more of their money to cover the rising costs of gas and food.
These factors affected all of the company’s divisions. Sears store sales dropped 9.8% domestically, while Kmart stores sales slumped 7.1%. Total domestic same-store sales declined 8.6%.
“Our first-quarter results reflect the difficult economic environment and intense competition for consumer business,” said W. Bruce Johnson, Sears Holdings’ interim CEO and president. “That said, since May 3 our sales declines have moderated somewhat.”
Especially hard hit were sales of home appliances and products for lawn and garden care. Clothing sales also slumped. The company also reported that it expects that tough economic conditions will cause its sales and margins to struggle for the rest of the year.
New Gap Inc. service enables universal shopping
SAN FRANCISCO Gap Inc. has launched a new online service, “universality,” which enables customers to shop at all of its brands at one time. Customers can now add items from the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime web sites into one shopping cart.
Gap Inc. added that customers benefit from a flat shipping rate of $7 and orders from Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy will ship in one box. Orders from Piperlime will ship separately and continue to offer free shipping and returns.
“We’re thrilled to offer our customers the ease and convenience of shopping our four amazing brands online with only one check-out,” said Toby Lenk, president of Gap Inc. Direct. “Universality allows us to leverage the strength of our iconic brands and still maintain each brand’s identity.”
Amazon.com to boost digital offerings
SEATTLE Amazon.com has plans to launch a streaming video service in the next few weeks as part of its plan to boost its digital offerings, said ceo Jeff Bezos, speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, according to reports.
Bezos reportedly also talked about Amazon’s portable reading device, Amazon Kindle, saying it could possibly become an important part of its online business.
The company recently lowered Kindle’s price to $359 from $399.