Sears Holdings Logs Another Quarterly Slump

HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. - On the one hand, Sears Holdings' effort to transform its business from a chain retailer to a membership retail format is gaining traction: 70% of sales in the third quarter were made by Shop Your Way members, up from 65% the previous quarter. On the other hand, it clearly needs more members. Sales continued to decline and the company's loss widened to $534 million from a loss of $498 million in the year-ago period.
     Overall sales dropped 7% to $8.27 billion. The company attributed $200 million of the decline to the fact that it operates fewer Kmart and Sears U.S. stores than it did in last year's third quarter.
     Consolidated comp decreased 3.1%, with same-store sales down 4% at Sears and 2.1% at Kmart.
     "We are transitioning from a business that has historically focused on running a store network into a business that provides and delivers value by serving its members in the manner most convenient for them: whether in store, in home or through digital devices," said Eddie Lampert, Sears Holdings' chairman and ceo.
     He added: "Throughout this transition, we have continued with traditional promotional programs and marketing expenditures while investing in our member-centric model, which has impacted our margin and expenses."

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