Holiday sales fall at Sears

Declining sales at Sears during the holiday period prompted the company to announce that it anticipates a fourth-quarter loss.

The company expects a net loss of between $250 million and $360 million for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $460 million a year earlier. Same-store sales dropped 5.7% in the quarter through Jan. 6 at Kmart, and 9.2% at U.S. Sears stores , resulting in a for a companywide decline of 7.4%.

Both brands reported weaker consumer electronic sales, while Sears domestic stores also reported lower tools and home appliance sales, while Kmart was stung by falling demand for grocery, household products and toys.

The results, according to CEO Eddie Lampert, “overshadow all of the work that’s being done by our associates, our vendors and the other businesses we work with, along with everyone who is developing better ways for us to serve our members."

All was not bad news, however. Sears reported it is seeing continued increases in its Shop Your Way (SYW) member engagement metrics with 69% of sales in the nine-week period ended Jan. 4, derived from members as compared to 58% last year. For the holiday period Sears spent $69 million more on SYW points expense, compared to the same period the previous year.