Both Sears Holding Corp. and The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. posted continuing losses in the second quarter as The Buckle Inc. saw profits slide 17 percent, illustrating the long road to recovery retailers still face.

 

Second-quarter losses attributable to Sears narrowed to $39 million, or 35 cents a diluted share, from $94 million, or 79 cents, a year earlier. Revenues slipped 0.9 percent to $10.46 billion from $10.55 billion.

 

Adjusting for certain items, losses widened to 19 cents a share from 17 cents, a year earlier.

 

“Kmart continued to improve its performance during the second quarter, as an improvement in its gross margin rate led to increased profitability,” said W. Bruce Johnson, Sears Holdings’ interim chief executive officer and president. “Overall, our total revenues declined only slightly despite the uncertain economic environment faced by our customers.”

 

Comparable-store sales slipped 1.4 percent at the firm’s Kmart division and fell 2.8 percent at the Sears U.S. stores.

 

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.’s second-quarter losses narrowed to $33.7 million, or $1.91 a share, from $34.8 million, or $2.04, a year earlier. Revenues fell 0.4 percent to $622.6 million from $625.3 million.

 

In the world of specialty stores, The Buckle Inc.’s second-quarter profits slipped 17 percent to $20.7 million, or 44 cents a diluted share, from $25 million, or 55 cents, a year earlier. Sales fell 2.2 percent to $188.6 million from $192.9 million. The second quarter ended on July 31 for all three companies.

 

For complete coverage, see Friday’s issue of WWD.

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