FINANCE

Sears Q2 loss widens, more store closings on tap

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp. on Thursday reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its second quarter – the retailer’s ninth consecutive quarterly loss – amid weak sales. The retailer also announced it may close additional stores on top of the 130 closures already underway this year.

Sears also said Thursday the company plans to explore options with lenders to achieve more long-term capital-structure flexibility in the coming six to 12 months.

Sears lost $573 million during the quarter ended Aug. 2, compared to a loss of $194 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue slid 10% to $8 billion, due in part to its spinoff of the Lands’ End business.

Same-store sales fell 0.8%, comprised of a 1.7% drop at Kmart stores and offset by a .1% increase at Sears stores.

Sears said it will continue to explore a sale of its majority stake in Sears Canada, which reported its ninth loss in 14 quarters.

Sears chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert noted that the company is showing continued to show progress in its turnaround, pointing to its year-over-year increase in online and multi-channel sales, and with members of its Shop Your Way reward program now accounting for 73% of eligible sales.

“However, our second quarter earnings are unacceptable and we are taking steps to address our performance on several levels,” Lampert stated. “This includes reducing costs as we evolve our business model, investing in our Shop Your Way and Integrated Retail customer initiatives, rationalizing our physical footprint and improving pricing and promotions”

Lampert added that as the chain progresses with its transformation by investing in new programs and platforms, it continues to shoulder the costs of two promotional models, which adversely impacts margins.

There is more work to be done to get results where we expect them to be. Like any transformation, we must first overcome the burden of the initial costs before we can enjoy the benefits.

“Like any transformation, we must first overcome the burden of the initial costs before we can enjoy the benefits," Lampert said.

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FINANCE

Bon-Ton Stores narrows loss in second quarter

BY Katherine Boccaccio

York, Pa. — The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. reported a loss of $36.2 million in the second quarter, narrowed from a loss of $37.3 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue edged up 1.1% to $563.5 million, compared with $557.1 million in the prior year period. Same-store sales increased 1.6%.

“We were pleased that we achieved comparable store sales growth, particularly given the challenging promotional environment and continuation of soft traffic trends,” said Brendan Hoffman, CEO.

The department store chain recently named Kathryn Bufano as its new president and CEO, effective next week.

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FINANCE

Buckle posts Q2 profit, misses Street

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Kearney, Neb. — Buckle Inc. reported a profit of $24.5 million in the second quarter, missing Wall Street estimates.

Quarterly revenue, however, beat analysts’ projections, as the teen apparel retailer posted revenue of $235.7 million in the period. Wall Street expected $234.2 million.

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