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Sears Announces it is Closing 80 Stores View Count: 139

It was announced this week that Sears Holdings Corp suffered a larger loss in the first quarter despite offering heavy discounts to bring in more shoppers, according to a report from Reuters.

Sears is controlled by Eddie Lampert, a hedge fund billionaire. The company has been closing stores and dropping assets as it continues to fight losses and weak sales that have hindered it since 2005. Just last week, Sears said that it was looking into selling its 51 percent stake in Sears Canada Inc.

The company said this week that a possible stake sale could bring in $730 million in cash with the current value of the market.

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Sears announced that it is going to close 80 or more stores in the year that ends in January. As of February, the company operated 1,980 Kmart and Sears stores in the United States. In the quarter that ended on May 3, the comparable store sales dropped by one-percent in the United States.

In the United States, comparable store sales dropped by 2.2 percent at Kmart stores, but increased by 0.2 percent at Sears stores because of higher demand for home products and appliances.

Sears also said that its gross margin dropped from 25.5 percent to 23.2 percent.

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