NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. continued its downward slide during its fiscal third quarter, with competition and a continued shift in shopping habits cutting into sales.
Revenue dropped 27 percent to $3.66 billion. Sears said that store closures accounted for about half of the revenue decline, along with a cut in pharmacies at its Kmart stores. Same-store sales, a key measure of a retailer’s health, plunged 15.3 percent during the quarter.
One bright spot was that the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based company — which runs Kmart and its namesake stores — narrowed its loss significantly to $558 million, or $5.19 per share on aggressive cost-cutting.
That sent shares soaring more than 30 percent in Thursday premarket trading.
Sears has been cutting costs as it faces pension funding issues and lower sales. Competition from stores like Home Depot, Amazon.com and online retailers have been prompting the company to sell brands and close stores as it loses ground in the market. In October, it cut Whirlpool-branded appliances from its operations, curtailing a business relationship that dates back more than 100 years. In the U.S., consumers buy most of their small appliances from Walmart, according to market research firm TraQline. Amazon comes in second, with Sears placing fourth behind Target.
Sears also previously sold its iconic Craftsman tool brand.
The retailer plans to close 63 stores, including 45 Kmart stores, by late January. Those closures are on top of 250 stores already announced in 2017.
Sears said Thursday that it will continue to maintain “extreme cost discipline” going into the fourth quarter, while trying to form third-party partnerships with businesses for its home services, Kenmore and Diehard brands.
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