NEW YORK — As Sears Holdings Corp. nears the first anniversary of its founding, its chairman Edward Lampert left no doubt about his intentions for the retailer.
"I view Sears Holdings as a $55 billion-revenue, 350,000-person start-up — and I continue to believe that we have the challenges, excitement, pace of change and opportunity for success that characterize a start-up," Lampert said Wednesday in his letter to shareholders, which also noted Sears Holdings' fourth-quarter and full-year results.
Wall Street liked what it heard. Sears stock closed at $132.29, up $15.02, or 12.8 percent, in Nasdaq trading.
"We will not be bound by the dictates of past practices," Lampert said. Instead, we will question, test, evaluate and change."
Part of those changes include transforming certain Kmart locations into a Sears format, and changing the name of those stores from Sears Essentials to Sears Grand. The retailer is also looking for ways to bring Sears merchandise to the Kmart format.
"While we are absolutely focused on profitability, we believe that in order to achieve that objective, we should strive to return Sears and Kmart to the position of prominence that both brands and companies held in American retailing," wrote Lampert. "Our strong association with customers and our reputation for reliability are attributable in significant part to our great brands, such as Kenmore, Craftsman, Lands' End and Die-Hard (as well as the Sears and Kmart brands themselves). We are proud of these brands, which have justly earned their status as symbols of excellence and quality."
Now that Sears Holdings will be a year old on March 24, Lampert wrote it was no longer necessary for him to write to shareholders quarterly, and the chairman will likely reduce the frequency of his letters to once a year.
The retailer posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations, and which more than doubled from a year ago due to the combined results from both the Kmart and Sears businesses. The results do not accurately reflect the company's operations because they only include Sears' numbers from March 25 forward, after the merger date.
The holding company said income in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28 rose to $648 million, or $4.03 a diluted share, from $309 million, or $3.09 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street's consensus earnings per share estimate was $3.62, according to Thomson Financial. Revenues rose to $16.09 billion from $5.95 billion. Same-store sales at Kmart rose 0.9 percent, reflecting an increase for the first time since the second quarter of 2001, while comps at Sears' domestic stores fell by 6.1 percent. On a pro forma basis, income a year ago would have been $589 million, or $3.62 a diluted share, on revenues of $16.84 billion.For the year, income dropped to $858 million, or $5.59 a diluted share, from $1.11 billion, or $11 a share, in the same year-ago period. Revenue climbed to $49.12 billion from $19.84 billion. On a pro forma basis as if the companies had merged at the beginning of fiscal 2004, income would have declined to $789 million, or $4.85 a diluted share, from $884 million, or $5.40, while revenues would have dipped to $54.26 billion from $55.97 billion.
Separately, Sears said that director Michael A. Miles and former Kmart president and ceo Julian C. Day have decided not to stand for reelection to the board when their terms end in April. Sears will reduce the size of its board from 11 to nine members.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)