Sears will close 72 additional stores as sales shrink and losses grow, an announcement that has become a familiar refrain as the company retrenches. Revenue fell more than 30 percent to $2.89 billion.
Even though the current retail environment is hard for many retailers, Sears' performance has been much worse than its rivals.
Sears did highlight positive comparable store sales at Kmart and Sears within several categories, including apparel, footwear and jewelry.
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Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. fell as much as 13% before the start of regular trading on news of the results. That means the numerous Sears locations in and around Sacramento and the Kmart stores in cities such as Auburn, Grass Valley and Modesto will remain open. It has also faced growing competition from stores like Home Depot, Lowe's and Best Buy.
After more than six years of shrinking sales, the parent company of Sears and Kmart announced Thursday it would shutter another 63 stores. The retailer put up for auction the property its stores occupy at Mid Rivers Mall and South County Center. Eligible employees will be able to receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for employment at other Sears and Kmart stores.
Sears continues to far outpace its department store peers in store closures.
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Total net loss for the first quarter was $424 million, and Sears ended the quarter with $466 million in cash reserves.
Sales at established stores, a key gauge of a retailer's health, tumbled almost 12 percent, down 9.5 percent at Kmarts and 13.4 percent at Sears.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Sears is considering selling off its Kenmore appliance brand, as well as other units of its business.
Sears has also said it received a letter from ESL Investments, expressing interest in participating as a purchaser of all or a portion of the sale Assets.
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