Sears losses Widen: Plans to close 72 Stores

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: SHLD)announced on Thursday that it will be closing an additional 72 stores in 2018 as it sales continue to slip, as revenues have now declined 31.1 percent year over year.

Sears shares fell by 9.53 percent after the opening bell on Thursday.

Sears said it in its financial results that it has identified approximately 100 non-profitable stores, in which 72 will be closed. The company said it will be releasing a list of locations that will be shutting down.

“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.” said Sears in a statement.

Sears and its subsidiary Kmart, operated 894 combined stores at the end of the first quarter, 381 fewer than it did a year ago. In January, the company announced the closure of 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores, while some locations are being auctioned off online, according to CNBC.

“We're not liquidating just to liquidate. We're liquidating … to get capital to put into our pension plan. As opposed to erring on the side of, 'This store might work.' … If it's not working, we've invested the time, so we've got to close it because we are now jeopardizing this [store] over here." said Sears CEO Eddie Lampert in a CNBC interview.

For the first quarter, Sears reported a net loss of $424 million or $3.93 loss per diluted share, much larger than the previous year’s same quarter loss of $245 million or a loss of $2.29 per share.

Sears burned through $1.8 billion in cash during 2017, $1.4 billion during 2016, and $2.2 billion during 2015. The company reported $4.3 billion as of February 3, 2018.

Sears reported revenue of $2.9 billion during the first quarter, compared with revenues of $4.2 billion the same quarter last year. Total comparable store sales declined 11.9 percent during the quarter. Kmart sales declined 9.5 percent, while Sears fell by 13.4 percent.

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