This week Sears Holdings released quarterly results. The latest numbers suggest that the company hasn’t managed to slow the declines at Sears.
Overall results for Sears Holdings were poor, with revenue for the quarter ending October 30 down 5% from $10.2 billion in 2009 to $9.7 billion this year. The company lost -$215 million this year, substantially worse than the -$112 loss last year.
Perhaps most disturbing, same store sales for Sears were down by -8.2%. That is a remarkable number.
There isn’t any reason to think things will turn-around soon. The Sears brand continues to be caught in the middle, trapped between low-price retails and differentiated retailers. Sears has a fundamental positioning problem and no easy way to fix it.
K-Mart, at least, has a clear place to play: a low-price retailer battling Wal-Mart and Target. This is a tough fight, but at least there is a big chunk of business to fight over.
Without some huge investments in the brand, Sears will continue to decline. The only real question is this: when does it end? Retailer brands come and go. How much longer will Sears be around?