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Sears Holdings still positive despite negative Q3

Sears Holdings remains positive about its future despite reporting a wider loss for the third quarter and comps declines across its retail segments. The company reported a net loss of $421 million, or $3.95 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2011, compared with a net loss of $218 million, or $1.98 loss per diluted share, in 2010. 

Comparable-store sales at Sears' U.S. stores were down 0.7%. According to the company, the decrease in sales at Sears domestic for the quarter was due to poor performance in appliances and consumer electronics. Kmart comps dropped 0.9% for the quarter, which was due to a decrease and pharmacy, apparel and home. Comps fell 7.8% at Sears' Canada stores. 

Lou D'Ambrosio, Sears Holdings' CEO and president, said, "While we are not satisfied with our performance, we saw improvement in some core areas. Sears full-line stores saw improvement, as Sears apparel achieved both comparable store sales and margin rate increases in the quarter. We also saw nearly 20% growth in our domestic online business, and while appliance sales declined in the quarter, we improved our market leadership positions in overall appliances and Kenmore. Despite improvement in these areas, our overall results were down, led by declines in Sears Canada, consumer electronics and Kmart apparel."

While the company's sales were disappointing, Sears Holdings remains optimistic about its potential.

"We believe it is becoming more and more obvious that the future of retail will revolve around the seamless integration of online and offline experiences. Sears Holdings has the combination of assets that will allow us to play a large and important role in bringing these experiences to all Americans through integrated retail," said D'Ambrosio.

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