Sears Holdings sees income fall 62 percent
Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings took another blow in the second quarter, with hits particularly in home improvement- related goods at its stores in the United States.
Net income fell 62 percent to $65 million from $173 million in the year-ago period at the company, which includes Sears, Sears Canada and Kmart stores.
Sears reported second-quarter sales of $11.8 billion, down 4 percent from $12.3 billion last year. Domestic same-store sales dropped 6.2 percent, including a 5.6 percent drop at Kmart stores and a 6.7 percent decline at Sears locations.
Sears also benefited from a one-time, pre-tax gain of $62 million, following the reversal of a 2007 jury verdict on the redemption of bonds issued by former Sears, Roebuck and Co.
The company said the decline in sales and earnings came from lower performance at Sears domestic stores and Kmart. Still, the company saw improved results in its Sears Canada stores.
“Our second-quarter results reflect the continued effects of a slowing economy which contributed to the earnings declines we have experienced since the third quarter of 2007,” said W. Bruce Johnson, Sears Holdings’ interim CEO and president.
The comparable-store sales declines at both Kmart and Sears stores in the United States “continue to reflect increasing competition and weakness in the general economy,” the company said. Additionally, the comparable-store sales declines were driven by categories directly impacted by housing market conditions, the company said, including appliances and tools.
Carpet One Floor & Home names vp-merchandising
Carpet One Floor & Home, a division of CCA Global Partners, has named Jim Aaron vp-merchandising.
Aaron most recently served as a senior training specialist with CCA Global Partners. Prior to that, he served as a territory manager with carpet company Mohawk, helping the flooring maker to launch into hard surfaces.
“Aaron’s extensive hard surface experience and history with CCA make him perfect for the role,” said Eric Demaree, president of Carpet One Floor & Home.
Aaron previously worked with William M. Bird & Co. after attending the University of South Carolina and graduating in 1988. He will be based in the company’s St. Louis office.
Carpet One Floor & Home currently has more than 1,000 independently owned and operated locations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Silver linings seen in housing statistics
Prices of single-family homes across the United States are still falling, but the declines are slowing down, according to one of the leading housing market indictors. Numbers released by Standard & Poor’s showed a 15.4 percent decline in the second quarter of 2008, compared to the same quarter of 2007. The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, also reported annual declines of 17 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, for its 10-city and 20-city composite price index.
These declines were less than economists had forecast, however. Quarterly figures for nationwide home prices showed a 2.3 percent drop in the three months through June from the previous three months, compared with a 6.8 percent decline in the first quarter of 2008.
“While there is no national turnaround in residential real estate prices, it is possible that we are a seeing some regions struggling to come back, which has resulted in some moderation of price declines at the national level,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, in a prepared statement.
Las Vegas remains the weakest real estate market in the country, according to the report, closely followed by Miami and Phoenix. For the month of June, Denver and Boston were the best performing markets; each city had three consecutive months of sales gains. Charlotte and Dallas recorded four straight months of positive returns, according to the index.