NEW YORK: Sears continued to struggle in its second quarter with declining sales amid heightened competition. It now says it will close even more stores. The retailer has been trying to cut costs by closing stores, including 180 this year and already had plans to cut another 150 stores. It now plans to shutter an additional 28 Kmart stores. “The retail environment remained challenging,” Sears Holdings Corp. said in a statement. The Hoffman Estates, Illinois company reported that its second-quarter loss narrowed to $251 million, or $2.34 per share.
Losses, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $1.16 per share. Revenue fell 23 percent to $4.37 billion in the period. Sales at stores open at least a year, a key measure of a retailer’s health, dropped 11.5 percent. In March, Sears said there is “substantial doubt” it could continue as a viable concern, with intense pressure coming from companies like Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon.com. It has insisted that its actions to turn around its business should help reduce that risk. The company said yesterday that it has used about $605 million of its $1.5 billion revolving credit facility due in 2020. Its cash balances were $442 million as of July 29. Shares added 2 cents to $8.59 in premarket trading.–AP