Sears' losses extend to 30th consecutive quarter

Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) posted a $573 million loss in the second quarter, the 30th consecutive quarter to see a decline in sales.

Edward Lampert, chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings, called the earnings "unacceptable." In an effort to change the status quo, Sears will reduce costs, close stores and improve pricing promotions, Lampert said in announcment.

The retailer has already closed stores and unloaded the smaller-format Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores in an attempt to improve sales and cut costs. The company also sold five Sears stores in Canada for $366 million last year.

Still, sales for the quarter dropped from $8.87 billion to $8.01 billion, according to Bloomberg, and the Lands' End (NASDAQ:LE) brand spinoff accounted for $330 million of the revenue decline.

Sears is considering unloading its remaining 51 percent stake in Sears Canada. Earlier this month, Sycamore Partners approached Sears about a possible buyout of its Canadian properties. The retailer is also looking into partnerships intended to help its flailing Auto Center business.

Sears reported that the strongest sales for the quarter came from e-commerce and loyalty members.

"We have continued to show progress in our transformation, as demonstrated by our year-over-year increase in online and multi-channel sales, and with our member sales now representing 73 percent of eligible sales," said Lampert.

Sears stores experienced comparable sales growth of 0.1 percent while Kmart's sales were down 1.7 percent. However, online and multi-channel sales grew by 18 percent, and Shop Your Way member sales increased to 73 percent of sales, up from 71 percent in the second quarter last year. Sears recently expanded the Shop Your Way program, adding 50 new brand partners to the roster.

"As we progress with our transformation by investing in new programs and platforms, we continue to bear the costs of two promotional models, which adversely impacts margins," said Lampert." 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."

For more:
-See this Sears press release
-See this Bloomberg story

Related stories:
Sears continues downward spiral, closing 80 more stores
Sears Canada to cut 1,600 jobs as it outsources, restructures
Sears files to spin off Lands' End business
Sears denies rumors of Canadian unit sale

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