Sears sets sights on appliances

Mixed with yesterday’s disappointing sales and earnings performance was an ambition to lead the nation in at least one category: appliances.

“We are focused on our best categories,” said Rob Schriesheim, executive VP and CFO, on a conference call with investors. “In Home Appliances, we are intent on reinforcing our position as the number one appliance retailer in the U.S.”

In the first quarter, same-store sales declined 14.5% at Sears and 7% at Kmart, contributing to a net loss of $303 million.

The company’s first quarter also saw an expansion of it’s appliance assortment in Kmart stores and a broadened assortment online. It also saw new products in the Kenmore laundry line.

Schriesheim also described Sears as a leader in Home Services. Sears completed to more than 12 million service and installation calls in 2014.

“Despite this leadership position, we believe that there is an opportunity for us to improve our service levels and response times to better serve our members,” he said. “We are devoting significant resources to ensure that we have the right people, processes and technology in place to deliver these improvements.”

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