On Thursday, Sears Holdings reported its smallest drop in same stores sales for a quarter in over three years, as it continues to thin out its number of stores and attempts to return to profitability.
Sears, in the face of mounting liabilities, maintains its race to sell assets, reduce costs and lower debt, in an all-out attempt to keep its business afloat.
Even though the decline of same-store sales slowed in the most recent quarter, it remains quite steep, which illustrates the retailer has yet to win its shoppers back. The options for Sears as the holiday shopping season approaches are limited.
Sears and Kmart sales at locations open for 12 months or more fell 3.9% in the company’s fiscal second quarter, in comparison to a drop of 11.9% for the prior quarter.
The drop of 3.9% included a decline in same store sales of 3.7% in Kmart locations and a decline of 4% for Sears locations.
Sears Holdings also announced that it had seen positive growth in comparable sales of 3% during July and 2.5% during August.
Shares of the company moved higher by up 27% during trading afterhours following the release the earnings report.
CEO of Sears Holdings Eddie Lampert in one of his blog posts reconfirmed he still believes the company will accomplish restructuring without needing bankruptcy, saying that the alternative might result in substantial reductions in overall value.
Although total revenue dropped during the three-month period by a percentage in the double-digits, the CEO continue to tout the progress the retailer is making in shifting to small-format stores as well as selling some brands on e-commerce giant Amazon.
However, the key to the vision of the CEO for Sears is entering a deal with ESL Investments, his own hedge fund.
ESL recently made an offer of $400 million to buy the retailers appliance division Kenmore. There is an offer as well from the fund to acquire the Home Improvement business of Sears in cash for $80 million.
The deal was being reviewed by a special committee and on Thursday Sears said it continues that process. The retailer would not make any further comment related to progress that has or has been made.
Sears said it reached a deal that would release liens on some of its real estate properties that previously had served as collateral.