HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Sears has secured $100 million in new financing, will seek twice that from other sources, and will attempt $200 million in additional cost cuts this year unrelated to store closings.Shares rose more than 5 percent before the opening bell on new efforts to keep the beleaguered company afloat.
Sears Holdings Corp., which said last week it'd be closing more than 100 stores, said Wednesday that during the critical holiday shopping season, comparable-store sales tumbled by about 16 percent to 17 percent.
The inability to revive sales created tension with vendors who have grown apprehensive about payment. Sears, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, has not reported an annual profit since 2011, and sales have been in decline for a decade.
The hedge fund of Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert has forwarded millions in funding to keep Sears open. He said Wednesday that broader changes to the company's capital structure and business model were required.
"While these actions have so far helped our Company survive the so-called "Retail Apocalypse", many observers are not persuaded that Sears Holdings can be a viable competitor in the long term," Lampert wrote in a blog post. "It is obvious that to overcome such skepticism and obtain the support of outside lenders and our vendor community - which is crucial to the success of any retailer - we need to undertake further measures."
The goal, Lampert said, is to return Sears to profitability this year.
Shares fell sharply in regular trading Tuesday, striking an all-time low.