Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD)’s Canadian Struggle, Streamlining And Fierce Competitors


Dallas, Texas 11/27/2013 (Financialstrend) – Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD)’s Sears Canada is struggling to make its way out since the start of economic slowdown in 2008. Since then, the company for the first time reported marginal 1.2% increase in sales at stores open for at least one year. However the revenue declined from $1 billion in 3Q12 to about $982.3 million in 3Q13. Sears Canada also reported loss of $0.48 per share or about $48.8 million in 3Q13 compared to $0.22 per share in 3Q12, largely attributed to severance and restructuring costs.

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD)’s Canadian counterpart is in the middle of its turnaround plan and operates through 118 department stores compared to 122 such stores couple of years back. Moreover as a result of its ongoing streamlining efforts, this number will further drop to 111 by early 2015. Moreover, Sears Canada now employs about 25,000 people compared to 31,000 two years back.

Continuing Layoff and Business Streamlining

In the most recent announcement made yesterday, Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD)’s Canadian subsidiary revealed to lay off 800 more employees to strengthen its operations as the struggling retailer plans to sell off assets and raise cash. Among such 800 employees, 79 from its head office and about 712 from its repair services and parts business would lose their jobs. The move is part of Sears Canada’s restructuring plan for its repair services and parts division where the company is planning to contract out much of work while streamlining the remaining teams.

The Fierce Competition

The competition is continually building up pressure with the rival firms Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) continually expanding its presence and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) seeking more strategic approach to increase its penetration. A strategic consultant George Minakakis believes that the U.S. discounter Target Corp. will rebound and is poised to impact business of rivals, leaving Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD)’s Sears Canada Inc. more vulnerable.