Sears Holdings narrows loss in second quarter

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retail giant Sears Holdings posted a net loss of $39 million in the second quarter—a big improvement over the $94 million loss posted in the same quarter last year.

Comparable-store sales at U.S. Kmart and Sears stores slipped 2.2%. Comps fell 2.8% at Sears Domestic, with weakness in power lawn and garden, tools and consumer electronics, the company said.

Revenues for the company and its 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada were $10.458 billion, down slightly from $10.551 billion in the same quarter last year.

“Kmart continued to improve its performance during the second quarter, as an improvement in its gross margin rate led to increased profitability,” said W. Bruce Johnson, Sears Holdings’ interim CEO and president. “Overall, our total revenues declined only slightly despite the uncertain economic environment faced by our customers. Expense discipline remained constant in the second quarter as reductions in selling and administrative expenses were achieved even as we continued to invest in initiatives designed to improve our customers’ experiences.”

He pointed to investments on multichannel retailing offerings and the launch of the “Shop Your Wa