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Sears Holdings

Sears Continues to See Dropping Sales and Revenue

Sears Holdings’ year-end financial results for 2017 reflect falling sales and revenue, continuing a pattern of dipping numbers for the retailer.

Revenue for the company was $16.7 billion for the year, down from $22.1 billion in 2016, according to the retailer’s annual report. Merchandise sales were $13.4 billion, a 26 percent year-over-year decrease.

The company, which operates Sears and Kmart retail stores, has been making efforts to cut costs and return to profitability. Cost-cutting measures included selling its Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker and closing 303 Kmart stores and 132 Sears locations, according to the company.

As of February, Sears still had 1,002 stores in operation and employed about 89,000 people, including part-time workers.

“In 2017, we initiated a restructuring program targeted to deliver at least $1.25 billion in annualized cost savings,” the annual report says.

“In January 2018, we identified an additional $200 million of cost savings, unrelated to store closings. However, if we are unable to deliver the additional cost reductions, while continuing to invest in business growth, our financial results could be adversely impacted.”

Factors that could contribute to the company’s continued financial decline might include relationships with vendors that are renegotiating agreements, Sears reports.

Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert and his investment companies own nearly 50 percent of the company’s stock, which could be a vulnerability for Sears Holdings, according to the company’s annual report.

The interests of Lampert’s companies “may from time to time diverge from the interests of our other stockholders, particularly with regard to new investment opportunities,” the report says. “This substantial influence may also have the effect of discouraging offers to acquire our Company because the consummation of any such acquisition would likely require the consent of these affiliates.”

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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