Sears, Kmart says future in 'substantial doubt' as 108 stores close

Sears, an icon of US retail, may shut its doors

Sears's forewarning comes after more optimistic signs from the company, which has been working on a turnaround under Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert. The companys revenue was down -17.1 % compared to the same quarter last year.During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $-1.70 EPS.

In the wake of that statement, the price of Sears stock dipped 13.69% to $7.85 a share. Excluding charges that can be listed as one-time events, the loss is $4.57 billion, says Ken Perkins, who heads the research firm Retail Metrics LLC, but how the losses are stacked no longer seem to matter. The company said it is also exploring ways to "unlock value" through its Home Services and Sears Auto Center, Kenmore appliances and DieHard batteries and parts business by partnering with other companies, or other means. It's been probably 10 years that Sears holdings has been struggling in one fashion or another.

Customers search for bargains at the soon to be closing Sears store in the NY borough of the Bronx.

"They're past the tipping point", Perkins said.

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Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) has tumbled 1.95% during the past week, however, the bigger picture is still very bullish; the stocks have advanced and posted positive gains of 20.03% in the last four weeks. In other words, many think Sears will go under.

The company announced in January that it would close 150 stores including Kmart stores in Mechanicsburg and Lancaster and the Sears store at the Capital City Mall in Camp Hill.

Earlier this month, Sears sold off its Craftsman brand of tools to Stanley Black & Decker.

Mr. Lampert owned almost 10 per cent of the real-estate investment trust that paid Sears $2.6-billion for stores that it purchased, many of which were then leased back to the retailer.

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"This revelation in their annual report that they may not be able to continue as a going concern is really just another step towards what is inevitably going to be a financial collapse", said Mark Cohen, former CEO of Sears Canada and director of retail studies at Columbia Business School. Sears Holdings Corp has a one year low of $5.50 and a one year high of $19.12.

Additional asset sales could prove problematic, according to Sears' filing.

The agreement "contains certain limitations on our ability to sell assets, which could impact our ability to complete asset sale transactions or our ability to use proceeds from those sales to fund our operations", the company said.

The company said it could not predict with certainty the outcome of its actions to generate liquidity.

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