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Sears First-Quarter Revenue Plunges, 63 Stores to be Shuttered

Revenue at Sears Holdings plunged 30% in the first-quarter of the year. News of the struggling retailer’s results came as the company announced it was shuttering 63 stores. The company’s first-quarter results were worse than expected, as same-store sales tumbled 12%.

Shares plunged on the news. Over the last 12 months, shares of Sears stock has fallen more than 50% and is now trading at around $3 a share.

Sears is currently evaluating an offer from ESL Investments, CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund. The deal would require the company to sell specific assets, including the Kenmore brand.

The company has informed employees at 48 Sears and 15 Kmart stores across the country that stores will be closing in September.

In a statement related to the closures, Sears said: “As part of our ongoing efforts to streamline the Company’s operations and focus on our Best Stores, we have identified approximately 100 non-profitable stores, many of which will begin store closing sales in the near future. We continue to evaluate our network of stores, which are a critical component in our transformation, and will make further adjustments as needed and as warranted.”

In the first quarter of the year, Sears posted a $424 million net income loss attributable to shareholders, or $3.93 per share. The company expected to report a loss of $1.51 per share. In the same period last year, Sears posted $245 million in net income, or $2.29 per share.

Same-store sales were down 11.9% overall. Sales at Kmart stores were down 9.5% and 13.4% at Sears stores.

Sears is the latest retailer to announce store closures, as online shopping takes over conventional retail space. Shoppers are making purchases online, where delivery is convenient and comparison shopping allows for more money to be saved. The department store sector has struggled to compete with online retail giants like Amazon.

Some experts speculate that Sears may be headed for a bankruptcy filing.

While sales at physical stores is waning, Sears is making some progress in other areas. The company recently signed a deal with Amazon to help install car tires ordered through their store. It has also signed a deal with Citi Retail Services to extend its co-branded and private-label credit card, bringing in $400 million in net cash flow.

The company has identified another 100 unprofitable stores that it plans to closer over time. At the end of 2017, Sears was operating a little more than 1,000 stores total.

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