After challenging holiday, Sears to speed up store closings - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

After challenging holiday, Sears to speed up store closings

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HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) - Following a "challenging" holiday season, Sears will accelerate the closure of some of its stores.

Comparable-store sales in the fourth quarter dropped 6.9 percent at Sears, and 7.2 percent at Kmart, which the company also owns.

While the quarter that contains the critical shopping season was better compared with the previous three quarters, overall same-store sales fell 9.2 percent in 2015, with Sears stores leading the decline.

Shares are down nearly 4 percent before the opening bell.

As for store closures, Sears Holdings Corp. said Tuesday that it will include, but not be limited to, about 50 stores that the company recently announced it would be shuttering in the next few months.

The company will attempt at least $300 million in asset sales during the first half of fiscal 2016. Sears is also still looking at options for its auto center business, which could include a sale of all or part of the operations.

Sears said Tuesday that it has reduced its debt by about $1 billion compared with 2014, and anticipates fourth-quarter revenue of $7.3 billion and full-year revenue of $25.1 billion.

The retailer will release its quarterly and full-year financial results on Feb. 25.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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