Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) announced today that comparable domestic store revenues decreased 3.6 percent for the four weeks ended Nov. 29, 2003. Total domestic store revenues were $2.5 billion for the four-week period in November 2003, down 3.2 percent compared with the four weeks ended Nov. 30, 2002.
"Overall, November results were below expectations and we are disappointed that the results weren't stronger," said Sears Chairman and CEO Alan J. Lacy. "While we are pleased that customers have responded very well to many of our holiday gift offerings in categories such as tools, toys and digital consumer electronics, overall spending at the beginning of the season has been more subdued than expected with our balance of promotional activity greater than anticipated."
For the month, major home appliance revenues were up modestly, while the lawn and garden business continued its strong performance. Sears Dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware reported sales increases in November.
SEARS/Add One Sears, Roebuck and Co. Domestic Store Revenues & Comparable Store Revenues (*According to National Retail Federation Fiscal Calendar.) (**A store is considered to be comparable at the beginning of the 13th month after the store is opened.) Fiscal Period Ending Percent Change November 29, November 30, All Comp 2003 2002 Stores Stores** November $2,464,700,000 $2,546,400,000 -3.2% -3.6% Year-to-Date* $21,769,600,000 $22,178,500,000 -1.8% -2.4%
The company has made available by phone a recorded message on sales performance of its domestic stores for November, as well as the company's forecasted results for the 2003 fiscal fourth quarter. Based on October and November results, the company expects fourth quarter comparable store sales to range from flat to a low-single digit percentage decrease. The message can be heard by calling (847) 286-6111 and will be available for approximately one week. Beginning in 2004, Sears plans to provide quarterly sales guidance only. The company intends to continue providing sales results on a monthly basis.
The forecasted results for the 2003 fiscal fourth quarter in the recording and this press release represent a "forward-looking statement," which is based on assumptions about the future that are subject to risks and uncertainties, such as: competitive conditions in retail; changes in consumer confidence and spending; the successful execution of and customer reactions to Sears' full-line store strategy and other performance improvement initiatives; general economic conditions and normal business uncertainty. While the company believes its forecasts and assumptions are reasonable, it cautions that actual results may differ materially. The company intends these forecasted results to speak only as of the time of this release and does not undertake to update or revise it, as more information becomes available.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service businesses. In 2002, the company's revenue was $41.4 billion. The company offers its wide range of apparel, home and automotive products and services to families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 870 full-line stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its Web sites, sears.com and landsend.com, and a variety of specialty catalogs.
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: News Media Contact - Edgar P. McDougal, +1-847-286-9669, or
Investor Contact - Pam White, +1-847-286-1468, both for Sears, Roebuck and