Sears Shuttering 28 More Locations, Comparable Sales Down 11.5%

Shares of Sears were up over 7% in premarket trading Thursday as the department store retailer made more progress in stabilizing its business.

The retailer posted a loss that was narrower than had been expected but saw its sales continue to decline. Sears posted a decline of double-digits for sales in same-stores for its second quarter saying that the retail environment remained challenging, and there had been a continuation in store traffic softness and increased competition in prices.

On Thursday, Sears announced as well that it would close another 28 of its Kmart locations in 2017. This is over and above the 180 Kmart and Sears stores already shuttered in 2017 and the 150 that were scheduled to be shuttered before the third quarter ends.

This is the latest attempt Sears is attempting to return itself to profitability. The chain of department stores has trimmed its portfolio of real estate, cut costs and seeks more liquidity.

Sears has been attempting a turnaround as other similar department stores continue to struggle as well. Rivals, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Macy’s each posted declines in their comparable sales during the second quarter, although losses were not as steep as those for Sears

Dropping foot traffic at most malls had been a big sore spot across the entire industry.

Sears posted a $1.16 per share adjusted loss, compared to a Wall Street forecast of a $2.42 per share adjusted loss.

Revenue ended the second quarter at $4.37 billion, while it had been estimated by analysts to be $4.21 billion.

Sales at same-stores were down 11.5%, worse than the estimated drop of 7.1%.

The attributable net loss to Sears was narrower coming in at $251 million equal to $2.34 a share for the second quarter compared to $395 million equal to $3.70 a share for the same period one year ago. Excluding one-off charges, Sears lost $1.16 per share.

Total sales were down ending the quarter at $4.37 billion from last year’s $5.66 billion, for the most part due to recent closures of stores, said Sears.

The overall sales of same stores drop of 11.5% included a drop of 9.4% at Kmart locations and 13.2% at Sears locations.

Sears said that July had been its best month during the quarter in terms of its comparable sales, thanks to the restructuring program, including the shuttering of stores that had been unprofitable beginning to take effect.