Sears Canada reports loss, revenue slides 12 percent: Reuters

(Reuters) – Struggling department store chain Sears Canada Inc reported its ninth loss in 14 quarters as sales continued to decline.

Same-store sales fell 6.8 percent in the second quarter ended Aug. 2. Same-store sales at Sears’s home and hardlines business dropped 9.3 percent.

The company blamed the slump partly on a relatively cold spring.

Total revenue fell 12 percent to $845.8 million, said Sears Canada, whose sales have declined for six straight years.

The company, which traces its Canadian roots back to the early 1950s, has lost market share to aggressive U.S. rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N).

It has eliminated about 3,000 positions since November, closed many stores and sold several of its most valuable leases over the past year, including one for its flagship store at Toronto Eaton Center.

Hedge fund billionaire Eddie Lampert and his Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O) said in May they were looking to sell their 51 percent stake in Sears Canada.

U.S. private equity firm Sycamore Partners was considering a bid for Sears Canada, the New York Post reported this month. A possible deal could fetch up to US$2 billion.

Its second-quarter operating loss widened to $64.2 million from $5.3 million a year ago, Sears Canada said.

The company reported a net loss of $21.3 million, or 21 Canadian cents per share, compared with a profit of $152.8 million, or $1.50 per share, a year earlier.

The year-ago quarter’s profit included a one-time pre-tax gain of $185.7 million.

(Reporting by Anannya Pramanick in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of peHUB Canada)

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