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Comp-store sales slip 7.5% for Kmart Q3

BY DSN STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart parent-company Sears Holdings reported on Thursday that revenues for the company decreased $1.5 billion to $5.8 billion for the third quarter ended Oct. 31. At Kmart, comp-store sales were down 7.5% for the quarter, with overall Kmart sales of $2.2 billion for the period.

Strong categories with increased comp-store sales at Kmart included home appliances and mattresses, but any increases were offset by declines in the drug store, grocery and household, apparel and consumer electronics categories. Kmart's gross margin rate for the third quarter was up 40 basis points, with increases in drug store, toys, electronics and apparel — driven by less clearance and promotional activity, according to the company.

A significant portion of the decline in the third quarter was related to the company’s efforts to streamline operations and focus on its member-centric approach. Kmart ended the quarter with 952 stores, down from 1,050 stores in the same quarter last year. Sales to Shop Your Way members in Sears Full-line and Kmart stores accounted for 75% of eligible sales for the third quarter.

"We remain focused on restoring Sears Holdings to profitability by concentrating on our best stores, rewarding our best members and pursuing our best categories through innovative solutions to product and service offerings,” said Edward Lampert, Sears Holdings chairman and CEO. “Through deliberate strategic actions, notably with respect to our promotional design and marketing spend, we have made meaningful progress in our transformation and reported a fifth consecutive quarter of improved year-over-year results.  As expected, the results of these actions have led to comparable store sales declines despite an increase in profitability.”  

“At the same time, we recognize a lot of work remains and we have brought in a number of experienced leaders to drive our business forward with a plan to win as a member-centric integrated retailer,” he said. “As we head into the fourth quarter, we have intensified our focus on our product offerings and promotions in order to enhance member engagement and provide our members with the best experience possible throughout the holiday shopping season."

Net loss attributable to Sears Holdings' shareholders was $454 million for third quarter 2015, compared with a net loss of $548 million for the same period the prior year.

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Rite Aid reports November, quarter, YTD sales

BY David Salazar

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid on Thursday announced sales results from November, its quarter and the year to date for the period ending Nov. 28. The company’s sales for November saw front-end sales rise 1.2% and a gain in pharmacy sales — which had about 26 basis points negative because of new generics being introduced — of 0.7%. Total store sales for November dropped 0.6% from the same period last year to $2.556 billion, with prescription sales making up 69.2% of sales. Third-party prescription sales made up 97.9% of pharmacy sales. 
 
For the quarter, same-store sales were up about 0.9% over the same period last year, with front end sales going up 0.3% and prescription counts at comparable stores up 0.2%. Total store sales were at %6.7 billion, an increase of 0.9% over the same period last year, with prescription sales making up 69.9% of total sales and third-party prescription sales constituting 97.9% of pharmacy sales. 
 
So far in 2015, Rite Aid’s same-store sales are up 1.9% over the same time last year, with a 0.4% rise in front-end same-store sales and a 1.2% rise in pharmacy same-store sale. Total store sales were up 18% to $19.9 billion, with pharmacy sales making up 69.5% of those and third-party prescriptions making up 97.8% of pharmacy sales. 
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Kroger surpasses Q3 profit, misses on sales

BY Marianne Wilson

CINCINNATI — The nation’s largest supermarket operator reported profit that surpassed Wall Street expectations and raised its annual forecast.

Kroger Co.’s third-quarter earnings rose 18% to $428 million.

Revenue inched up 0.4% to $25.08 billion for the quarter, ended Nov. 7. missing Street forecasts of $25.22 billion. Kroger cited lower fuel prices as impacting sales.

Same-store sales, excluding fuel, rose 5.4%, more than expected. It was the chain’s 48th consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales growth (excluding fuel.)

“Kroger's consistent results demonstrate once again that our relentless focus on customers is the key to sustainable shareholder returns,” said chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen. “We continue to implement our growth plan and expect to exceed our long-term net earnings per diluted share growth rate for fiscal 2015."

Kroger said profit will be as much as $2.04 a share this fiscal year, excluding some items. It previously estimated as much as $1.98 a share, and analysts project $1.99, on average.

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