Sears had a miserable, miserable Christmas

Sears is scrambling to raise cash and cut costs after an absolutely miserable holiday season.Sales at Sears an...

Posted: Jan 10, 2018 3:35 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2018 3:35 PM

Sears is scrambling to raise cash and cut costs after an absolutely miserable holiday season.

Sales at Sears and Kmart stores plunged during November and December. At stores open at least 12 months, sales fell between 16% and 17%. It only adds to worries that Sears can't stay in business much longer.

Sears blamed pharmacy closures at some Kmart stores and fewer electronics offerings on store shelves. But excluding pharmacies and consumer electronics, sales were still down 14% to 15%.

The company's bleak holiday season was an outlier. The retail sector had a very strong holiday shopping season overall. Traditional brick-and-mortar rivals, including Target, Kohl's, Macy's and JCPenney, reported better-than-expected sales.

Sears said it will cut another $200 million a year (beyond the stores it already planned to close). And it's looking to increase the amount of money it is able to borrow.

Sears says it has already raised about $100 million in new financing and is seeking to borrow another $200 million. It is also looking for better terms on the more than $1 billion of debt it has already has outstanding.

For the company to survive, CEO Eddie Lambert said that its lenders and vendors must have a better outlook about the company's future.

Lambert admitted the company's partners don't think Sears can compete much longer, and that negative outlook is putting Sears at a competitive disadvantage. For example, some vendors are demanding Sears pay them cash -- that way, they won't be on the hook if Sears files for bankruptcy.

Related: Jobs everywhere! Except at stores

Lambert again insisted that the company is on course to turn a profit in 2018. But he also ominously warned that the company's board will "consider all other options to maximize the value of Sears Holdings' assets" if the company can't refinance its debt.

The company had already warned last year that there was "substantial doubt" about its ability to stay in business long term. It has racked up $10.4 billion in losses since 2010, its last profitable year. Sears warned Wednesday that it expects to report a net loss of between $200 million and $320 million in the current quarter.

Related: Not dead yet - Target shows there's still a heartbeat in retail

Sears closed hundreds of stores last year, leaving it with just over 1,100. Last week it announced plans to close another 103 Kmart and Sears stores by April.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
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Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
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Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
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Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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