The retail holding company said it was able to slim down the loss by trimming selling and administrative expenses by 2.4 percent, and through a 5 percent decline in cost of sales, buying and occupancy. This helped offset a 4.4 percent drop in revenues, which totaled $10.2 billion in the quarter.
Domestic same-store sales for the company as a whole slipped 2.3 percent in the third quarter. Kmart’s same-store sales rose 0.5 percent, while comparable-store sales at Sears decreased by 4.6 percent.
Among other “encouraging signs” (as expressed by W. Bruce Johnson, interim chief executive officer and president of Sears Holdings) were a 40-basis-point rise in the company’s gross margin rate to 27.2 percent, and an increase in its cash balance from $1.2 billion in last year’s third quarter to $1.5 billion this year.