Sears, Kmart Same-Store Sales Rise In Q3

ESL Investments Secures Financing to Save Sears

With sales at closing stores that reportedly brought in shoppers, Sears Holdings’ same-store sales rose at its Sears and Kmart branded stores. The retailer shuttered 73 of its U.S. Sears locations as well as 28 of its Kmart locations over the quarter, which closed at the beginning of November, CNBC reported.

Same-store sales at Sears rose by 3.2 percent over the quarter from the year before, as shoppers scooped up items such as jewelry, tools, footwear and apparel. However, sales declined for auto centers and home appliances, which the outlet said comes “as the value of the bankrupt company’s warranties declines given Sears’ uncertain future.” Same-store sales at Kmart, by contrast, jumped by 6.1 percent, as customers purchased home goods, toys and apparel, but bought fewer groceries, prescriptions and household products.

Overall, the company’s total revenue declined by 23 percent from the same quarter last year to $2.74 billion. At the same time, the company’s net loss grew from $556 million a year before to $950 million. But the company’s cash on hand— when restricted funds are taken out of the equation — rose from $200 million to $526 million.

The news comes after it was reported that ESL Investments, which is headed up by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, was looking to purchase 500 of the retailer’s stores with a $4.6 billion proposal. The retailer had been in discussions over a “going concern bid” with the firm in the past, which noted in a letter that it “continues to believe in Sears Holdings’ immense potential to evolve and operate profitably as a going concern with a new capitalization and organizational structure.”

With the proposal, ESL Investments was said to be looking to provide a $1.8 billion “credit bid,” the assumption of approximately $1.1 billion worth of liabilities and an asset-based loan facility with $950 million in cash. Those liabilities are said to include Shop Your Way loyalty program points, gift cards and Sears Home Services protection agreements.


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