Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sears Closes 24 More Stores

AP) — Struggling retailer Sears Holdings Corp. said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit dropped 55% as holiday sales plunged and charges weighed down quarterly results.

Still, adjusted results for the owner of Kmart and Sears stores managed to top Wall Street estimates, sending the company's stock up nearly 12 percent before it retreated in a broadly lower market.

Chairman Edward Lampert, who acquired Kmart in 2003 and Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 2005, told investors in his long-awaited annual missive that the company's cautious approach to investing capital in stores and closing unprofitable locations — 28 during the fiscal year and another 24 announced Thursday — while paying down debt has helped the chain.

"In the future, there will be many opportunities for us and we intend to seize them," Lampert wrote in the long and sometimes philosophical public letter.

Sears Holdings Corporation is the parent company of Kmart Holding Corporation (Kmart).

More closures may be possible this year, Lampert said. Part of today’s announcement, the retailer is closing Kmart store in Lockport. Last year, it announced that it was closing a Kmart store in Joliet and Great Indoors store in Schaumburg.

The company has been hurt badly by the housing downturn, which particularly affected home appliance sales at its domestic Sears locations. It also cited the pullback in consumer spending brought on by the recession, which hurt home, household goods and apparel sales at Sears and Kmart stores as well as lawn and garden sales at Sears stores.

Read it all here.

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