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Sears narrows its losses in Q4

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings posted sales declines for both its fourth quarter and full year, but the retail icon narrowed its losses significantly.

The company's net loss for the fourth quarter was $489 million, compared with a loss of $2.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. For the full year, the company narrowed its loss to $930 million from $3.1 billion.

"Sears Holdings made progress in 2012 improving the profitability of our business, but we know there's more work to be done in 2013," said Edward Lampert, Sears Holdings' chairman and CEO.

Sales, however, declined, in several major metrics. 

The retailer posted fourth-quarter sales of $12.3 billion, down 3.4% from the same period a year ago, as domestic comp-store sales declined 1.6%. For the full year, sales declined 5.3% to $39.9 billion. Comp-store sales were negative 2.5% for the year.

Decreases in comparable-store sales at Sears Domestic of 1.4% for the year were driven by decreases in consumer electronics, lawn and garden and home appliances, as well as at Sears Auto Centers.

These decreases were partially offset by increases in apparel and home, the company said. The Kmart decline in comparable-store sales of 3.7% reflects decreases in a majority of its categories, most notably the consumer electronics, pharmacy, grocery and household and drug store categories. 

Lampert maintained a stay-the-course approach. 

"Our focus continues to be on our core customers, our members, and finding ways to provide them value and convenience through Integrated Retail and our SHOP YOUR WAY Membership platform. We have invested significantly in our online e-commerce platforms, our membership rewards program and the technology needed to support these initiatives."

Sears biggest problem is the

Sears biggest problem is the CEO. He needs to hire a merchant that understands the big box retail business and can bring in products that customers want to purchase. I visited 2 stores in the last month and it looked like they were going out of business.
Eddie Lampert is a money man - make no mistake, but he is NOT a retailer/merchant. I give Sears less than 5 years...

Lampert remains clueless as

Lampert remains clueless as to what is going on in the stores and what his customers are experiencing and thinking, both at Sears and K-mart stores. Due to this the sale decreases will continue and he probably no longer has the funds needed to fix it.

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