Amid losses, Sears points to ‘transformation’
Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Sears Holdings chairman and CEO Edward Lampert beat the drum of “transformation,” as the retailer posted another quarter of declines in consolidated sales and earnings.
The good news: Online and multichannel sales grew 26% over the same quarter last year. And Sears Domestic comp-store sales grew 0.2%.
However, the company’s overall net loss widened to $402 million, compared with $279 million in the first quarter last year. And total revenues (merchandise sales and services) for the retailer that includes Sears and Kmart stores declined 6.8% to $7.88 billion.
"Sears is undergoing a significant transformation, and we fundamentally are changing the way we do business," Lampert said. “We are moving away from a company that was heavily based on selling products solely through a store-based network to a member-centric business model focused on providing benefits to our members anytime and anyplace.”
The pace of store closings may also increase this year, Lampert said. The company may close more than the 80 stores now being closed, he suggested.
The slight sales growth at Sears Domestic primarily reflects an increase in the home appliances and home categories, the company said. The company saw declines in the lawn and garden, consumer electronics and sporting goods categories, as well as a decline in Sears Auto Centers.
Sears also experienced a revenue decline in Home Services.
At Kmart store, comparable-stores sales were down 2.2% as compared with a 4.6% decline last year.
Earlier this month, the retailer announced it intends to attempt to sell its stake in Sears Canada.