Sears posts decline in 3Q revenue due to store closures

A Sears store in Peoria Ill

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg| Getty Images A Sears store in Peoria Ill

Under the agreement with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the struggling retailer will be able to sell 140 properties that the agency had required it to put up as collateral against its underfunded pension plans.

Despite the massive culling of its weakest stores this year, comparable sales, which exclude business at recently opened or closed locations, fell 17% at Sears and 13% at Kmart, far steeper drops than those in recent quarters and numbers.

Sears and Kmart stores across California aren't among 68 stores that Sears Holding Co. announced last week it plans to close after the holiday season.

The payment would also release 140 Sears properties from a ring-fence arrangement with PBGC.

The amendment will close in about three months and the proceeds from the sale of the properties will be used to pay into its pension.

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The company's pension deficit totaled $1.73 billion for the period ended July 29.

"This agreement with the PBGC is another positive step forward which, upon closing, will provide our company with financial flexibility while supporting our commitment to honor our obligations to the associates and retirees covered by the pension plans", Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holding's chairman and CEO, said in a written statement.

In the last two years, Sears has sold off dozens of its best stores, among other assets, to raise money while its business deteriorated.

Total revenues were approximately $3.7 billion during the third quarter of 2017, compared with $5.0 billion in the prior year quarter, with store closures contributing to over half of the decline.

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