Sears posts big net loss, to sell some stores

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp reported a big quarterly net loss as the U.S. retailer struggled to woo shoppers in the key holiday selling season.

The operator of Sears department stores and the Kmart discount chain also reached a deal to sell 11 stores to General Growth Properties Inc and decided to separate Sears Hometown and outlets businesses and some hardware stores.

The dismal results come at a time when business lenders such as CIT Group Inc. keep Sears on a tight leash, adding to problems plaguing the company.

Sales at the company have fallen every year since it was formed by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert through the merger of two of the most iconic American chains in an $11 billion deal in 2005.

Sears reported a net loss of $2.4 billion after a number of charges, compared with a profit of $374 million a year earlier.