Sears Holdings unveils shake-up

Sears Holdings plans a major reorganization of its internal structure, moving toward an interconnected group of independent businesses with more autonomy than is currently in place.

“We are introducing an organizational structure that provides operating businesses with greater control, authority and autonomy,” read a statement from the parent of Sears and Kmart stores. The company said its various operating businesses will be given a “designated leader and an advisory group comprised of senior Sears Holdings executives to provide direction and oversee the business unit's performance.”

Sears representatives did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The move comes after the retailer announced weak holiday results and a melancholy outlook for the fourth quarter.

Earlier this month, Sears Holdings announced declines in comparable-store sales for both its Sears and Kmart stores for the nine-week holiday period ended Jan. 5 and offered sober guidance for the upcoming quarter.

Sears domestic saw a 2.8 percent decline during the months of November and December, while Kmart’s comparable-store sales declined 4.2 percent for the period. Total domestic comparable-store sales declined 3.5 percent for the nine-week period, the company said. The most notable declines occurred in the Sears apparel and tools categories and the Kmart seasonal categories.

The company attributed the declines to increased competition and the negative impact of unfavorable economic conditions.

Sears Holdings also announced its fourth-quarter projections. The company expects net income for the quarter to be in the range of $350 million to $470 million, or $2.59 to $3.48 per share -- down from earlier analyst estimates of $4.43 per share.

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