HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.-With a drop in both sales and gross margin, Sears Holdings’ second quarter net loss hit $144 million, compared to a net loss in last year’s second quarter of $34 million.
The parent company of both Sears and Kmart stores has tabbed Robert Schriesheim executive vice president and chief financial officer, succeeding Bill Phelan, who had been acting chief financial officer since Mike Collins left the company in early June. Schriesheim will assume his new roles on Aug. 22, and reports to Lou D’Ambrosio, president and CEO. Phelan will return to his role as senior vice president, controller and chief accounting officer.
Net sales for the quarter, which ended on July 30, slipped 1.2 percent to $10.3 billion, including a flat same-store sales performance for Kmart and a 1.2 percent drop in same-store sales for Sears’ U.S. stores. Gross margin fell 120 basis points to 25.8 percent, which D’Ambrosio attributed to promotional activity and markdowns for clearing out seasonal inventory. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 1.5 percent in dollars and 70 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 25.6 percent.
D’Ambrosio said Sears Holdings is taking action on expenses and introducing new apparel brands, including the Kardashian Kollection at Sears, in conjunction with the Kardashian sisters, and Sofia by Sofia Vergara at Kmart. He also cited the launch of the Kenmore Trio refrigerator as a highlight of the “innovative products” being rolled out by the company.