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Sears Holdings reports major third-quarter declines

Sears Holdings reported net income of $2 million for its third quarter ended Nov. 3, down from $196 million in the same quarter last year.

The company reported net sales of $11.55 billion, a 3.2 percent decrease from $11.94 billion for last year.

“We are very disappointed in our performance for the third quarter,” said Aylwin Lewis, Sears Holdings' CEO and president. “We cannot blame our results entirely on the retail and macro-economic environments. We have much on which to improve and are working hard to do so.”

The company said the year-over-year decline in income is primarily the result of a $223 million decline in gross margin, reflecting both sales declines, as well as an overall decline in its gross margin rate for the quarter.

Sears Domestic's comparable-store sales declined 4.2 percent for the quarter, while Kmart's comparable-store sales declined 5.0 percent.

According to the company, overall comparable-store sales results reflect increased competition; the negative impact of unfavorable economic conditions, such as a weak housing market and growing consumer credit concerns; as well as the unfavorable impact of unseasonably warm weather, prevalent during much of the third quarter, on sales of apparel and other seasonal merchandise.

Sears Holdings is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer, with more than $50 billion in annual revenues and approximately 3,800 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada.

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