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Closings could affect sales jobs in Rhode Island

Posted on January 15, 2012

The recently announced Sears store closures will most likely affect sales jobs in Rhode Island.
Chief Executive Officer Lou D’Ambrosio said in an earnings call that Sears and Kmart will close 100 stores.

“Given our performance and the difficult economic environment, especially for big-ticket items, we intend to implement a series of actions to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model. These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail – at the store, online and in the home,” said Chief Executive Officer Lou D’Ambrosio.

D’Ambrosio said other actions to curb costs include:

– Excluding the effect of store closures, we currently expect to reduce 2012 peak domestic inventory by $300 million from the 2011 level of $10.2 billion at the end of the third quarter as a result of cost decreases in apparel, tighter buys and a lower inventory position at the beginning of the fiscal year.
– Focus on improving gross profit dollars through better inventory management and more targeted pricing and promotion.
– Reduce our fixed costs by $100 to $200 million.

Kmart’s quarter-to-date comparable store sales decline reflects decreases in the consumer electronics and apparel categories and lower layaway sales. Sears Domestic’s quarter-to-date sales decline was primarily driven by the consumer electronics and home appliance categories, with more than half of the decline in Sears Domestic occurring in consumer electronics. Sears apparel sales were flat and Lands’ End in Sears stores was up mid-single digits.

The layoffs are also affecting Tampa retail jobs.

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