dglobalnews.com Sears has 'substantial doubt' about its future
Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
Medical | By Benjamin Edwards

Sears has 'substantial doubt' about its future


Sears Holdings Corp. said late Tuesday it lost more than $2 billion past year, and its historical operating results indicated doubt about the future of the company that started in the 1880s as a mail-order catalog business.

In Canada, Sears operates separately from its USA parent but is still controlled by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, who is chairman and chief executive officer of the US chain. Adjusted for one-time charges, its loss was $887 million. The company, based northwest of Chicago in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, lost $607 million in the most recent quarter and revenue fell. Its sales stood at -11.80% a year on average in the period of last five years. Sears would regain its health by closing struggling stores and focusing instead on profitable sales, he wrote.

Going concern refers to a company's ability to remain in business. "The Sears Canada operation runs separately from Sears U.S. All our plans regarding Sears 2.0, Initium [its new digital strategy], etc. go on as always". He said he noticed a warning sign past year when Sears pushed to increase its purchases, which occurred "because a lot of their current suppliers were either cutting them off or limited them on credit". "Sometimes multiple retailers to take those large spaces", Bell said.

They expect tension to mount as Sears approaches the key fourth-quarter selling season amid rising concern about a potential bankruptcy, they said.

In recent years, Sears has placed some of its US stores into a real estate investment trust, put some brands up for sale and repeatedly raised debt from its billionaire CEO Mr. Lampert's hedge fund.

Lampert owned almost 10 percent of the REIT that paid Sears $2.6 billion in 2015 for the stores it purchased, many of which were then leased back to the retailer.

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After years of mounting losses, the parent company of Sears and Kmart says there is "substantial doubt" about its financial viability.

According to Reuters, Sears Holdings Corp. lost $2.22 billion in the year ended January 28.

But the filing also makes clear that additional asset sales could prove problematic.

Sears Holdings sales have been imploding for years now, and the company has now lost a total of nearly $10 billion in the last six years.

Sears said that if it continues to experience operating losses and is unable to generate additional liquidity it may not be able to access additional funds under its credit agreement or be able to afford to pay for inventory to stock its stores or pay for other services it needs to operate.

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