Sears Exploring Its Options for Diehard, Craftsman and Kenmore Brands
The unprofitable chain of department stores company Sears Holding, controlled by Edward Lampert the manager of a hedge fund, is planning to consider its options for its Diehard, Kenmore and Craftsman brands along with its repair business Sears Home Services.
The retailer posted a loss for the first quarter that was wider than expected after its efforts to entice its customers back did not increase sales.
The net loss grew from $303 million equal to $2.85 per share from the previous year, to $471 million equal to $4.41 per share, said the company on Thursday in a prepared statement.
Robert Schriesheim the CFO is planning to leave, announced the company.
The iconic KCD brands have been beloved by the consumer and the company believes it can realize substantial growth by expanding further the presence of the three brands outside Kmart and Sears.
Lampert, the Sears CEO, Chairman and its largest shareholders built the company’s digital as well as loyalty programs in his quest to turnaround the business following five straight years of losses.
He raised cash through selling as well as spinning off some assets and said he envisioned a retailer that was leaner with fewer as well as smaller stores.
However, 11 years after Sears and Kmart were merged by Lampert; both chains are still losing shoppers and money.
Lampert told his shareholders at the annual meeting in early May that he wanted to return the company to profitability in 2016, though he did not forecast that the company would reach the target.
Turning Sears around it not an easy task he added. He likened it to the efforts to shut the military prison of the U.S. at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay.
Even spinning off a large portion of the vast holdings of real estate for Sears, which has been an enticement for a long time for investors, has not increased the company stock, which at one time was priced in the triple digits but closed Wednesday at just $12.52.
Sears has retained Citigroup and LionTree Advisors to give advice on searching for alternative for its three brands and the business of home services.
Sears announced that no certainty existed that it could complete one, two or more transactions, but the intention is to evaluate all potential alternatives that are available for the businesses.
Schriesheim is leaving so he can focus on other business interests of his and pursue career opportunities elsewhere said Sears in a statement.