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Sears Hometown stays positive despite drop in Q1 profit

HOFFMAN ESTATELES, Ill. — An unseasonably cool spring and rising costs affected first-quarter earnings for the period ended May 4 at Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, which reported a 27% drop in profit for the quarter. However, the company is focusing on improving signs in late spring.

Sears Hometown earned $15 million in the quarter that ended May 4, compared with $20.6 million in the year ago period.

Revenue dropped 3% to $601.1 million. Same-store sales fell 5%.

"Sales were below last year due to the impact of unseasonably cool weather in February and March,” said president and CEO Bruce Johnson. “Same store sales of lawn and garden, our second largest category, were down 45% in the first two months. We were pleased with the improvement during the latter portion of the quarter. With generally more moderate temperatures in April, same store sales for the category during that month were up 4.2%.”

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores is a national retailer primarily focused on selling home appliances, hardware, tools and lawn and garden equipment. Hometown stores are designed to provide the company’s customers with in-store and online access to a wide selection of national brands of home appliances, tools, lawn and garden equipment, sporting goods, and household goods, depending on the particular format.

Outlet stores are designed to provide customers with in-store and online access to new, one-of-a-kind, out-of-carton, discontinued, obsolete, used, reconditioned, overstocked, and scratched and dented products across a broad assortment of merchandise categories, including home appliances, lawn and garden equipment, apparel, mattresses, sporting goods and tools at prices that are significantly lower than manufacturers' suggested retail prices.