Fitness financials: Weaker appliance, electronic sales hurt Sears 3Q earnings

Sears Holding Corp, which is in the process of revamping its fitness departments, reported lower revenue and a wider loss for the third quarter 2011.

Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq:SHLD), which sells fitness equipment at some of its stores, reported lower revenue and profit for the third quarter 2011.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based department store company, which also includes Kmart stores, reported third-quarter revenue down about 1.2 percent to about $9.6 billion, versus $9.7 billion during the same period a year ago. Sears Holdings reported a quarterly net loss of $421 million, or a loss of $3.95 per diluted share, versus a net loss of $218 million, or a loss of $1.98 per diluted share, a year ago.

Same-store sales at Sears stores in the United States declined 0.7 percent with sale decreases in appliances and consumer electronics, partially offset by increases in apparel, company officials said Nov. 17 in the earnings release.

Sears continues to attempt a financial turnaround, part of that including a revamp of its fitness equipment sales strategy, as reported by SNEWS in October 2011.

Sears Holdings CEO and President Lou D’Ambrosio said additional strategies to help turnaround the department store brand would include better integrating the in-store and online shopping experience for consumers to research, purchase and return items seamlessly between the two.

Online sales were the one bright spot for Sears Holdings – rising 19 percent for the third quarter, and were included in same-store sales figures.

--Compiled by David Clucas