Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores reported mostly negative financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Net earnings fell about 12% to $7.69 million, from $8.76 million.
A 2% decrease in same-store sales and unfavorable calendar shift due to the 53rd week in fiscal 2012 offset slight growth in net sales to $561.1 million from $556.9 million.
“Sales of home appliances increased during the quarter, while sales of lawn and garden, consumer electronics, and apparel (which is only sold in Outlet Stores) declined,” said Bruce Johnson, CEO and president. “The fourth quarter of 2013 will be the last quarter where we will have a significant negative comparable store sales impact due to our exit from consumer electronics in most stores in our Hometown segment.
"In our Outlet segment, we completed the initial test of franchising and began rolling out this model, which generated higher initial franchise revenues in the quarter and allows us to continue our transition to an asset light, franchised operation. We also completed a successful test of furniture sales in our Outlet stores and have a limited selection of furniture inventory in place across the format for the holiday season. This continues our strategy of shifting our product mix toward higher margin categories, which began last fall with reductions in consumer electronics and expansion in mattresses and tools."