Sears says CEO to step down in early February


Sears Holdings Corp said Chief Executive Louis D'Ambrosio will step down for family health reasons after the U.S. retailer reported a 1.8 percent decline in quarter-to-date sales at stores open at least a year.

Edward Lampert will assume the role of Sears CEO in addition to his current role as chairman, Sears said in a statement late on Monday. D'Ambrosio became the chief executive in February 2011.

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Total domestic comparable store sales for the nine-week period declined 1.8 percent largely due to sales declines in the consumer electronics category at both Sears and affiliate Kmart, the company said.

Kmart recorded a 3.8 percent fall in comparable store sales for the nine-week period. Kmart's quarter-to-date comparable store sales decline reflects a significant decline in consumer electronics, besides weak sales in the pharmacy, grocery & household and drug categories.

Reported net loss attributable to Sears Holdings' shareholders for the quarter ending February 2, 2013 will be between $280 million and $360 million, or between $2.64 and $3.40 loss per share, the company said.

Excluding items, net income is expected to be between $132 million and $212 million, or between $1.25 and $2 per share.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Richard Pullin and Matt Driskill)