SEARS/

Sears Reports Bigger Loss, Exploring Options for Two Businesses

Industries Reuters

Sears Holdings reported a bigger net loss as sales fell and said it was exploring potential partnerships or other deals for its unit that houses the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard (KCD) brands and its Sears Home Services business.

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Sears sells appliances under the Kenmore brand, tools under Craftsman, and vehicle batteries under the DieHard brand. Its home services business provides technicians for repair, home improvement or maintenance.

"We believe that we can realize significant growth by further expanding the presence of these brands outside of Sears and Kmart," Sears said in a statement on Thursday.

Once the largest U.S. retailer, Sears has lost its standing as customers move to either online shopping or rivals such as Target Corp and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Sears, controlled by CEO Eddie Lampert, has lost more than $8 billion over the last five years. The company has managed to post a profit just once in the last four years.

Net loss attributable to Sears' shareholders widened to $471 million, or $4.41 per share, in the first quarter ended April 30 from $303 million, or $2.85 per share, a year earlier.

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Revenue fell 8.4 percent to $5.4 billion. Same-store sales fell 6.1 percent, mainly due to fewer Kmart and Sears mall-based stores in operation.

Sears also said Chief Financial Officer Robert Schriesheim was leaving to pursue other opportunities. Schriesheim will remain in his role until a replacement is found, the company said.

The company said it has retained Citigroup Global Markets and LionTree Advisors to help explore deals for its businesses.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale and Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru and Nathan Layne in Chicago; Editing by Don Sebastian)