Monthly Archive June 2018

Wells Fargo donates $155,000 to fund affordable housing in Dallas’ Jubilee Park

One neighborhood in Southeast Dallas is getting more affordable housing options thanks to a hefty donation.

Wells Fargo presented the Jubilee Park and Community Center with a $155,000 grant on Tuesday. That money is going to be used to help build four new homes for low-income families there.

Jubilee Park officials say the program is about more than just finding homes for people in need. It is also about keeping a roof over their heads through education.

"You would be surprised how much people are paying for in rent in this neighborhood,” Jubilee Park and Community Center CEO Ben Leal said. “What we’re trying to do is educate these individuals to become the homeowners in their neighborhood because that’s empowerment. That’s true empowerment for a neighborhood.”

Leal says his organization is able to get a $165,000 house down to about $75,000 through government grants and donations like the one made Tuesday by Wells Fargo.

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Sears Closing More Stores as Sales Shrink for 26th Straight Quarter

Sears Holdings Corp. SHLD -12.46% said Thursday it plans to close more than 60 stores it has deemed unprofitable, as the retailer continues to struggle with falling sales.

Sears has been closing hundreds of stores in recent years, selling brands and spinning off divisions to stay afloat amid mounting losses and the defection of customers to Walmart Inc., Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.29% and other outlets.

The company said it had identified 100 unprofitable stores overall and notified workers Thursday at 15 Kmart and 48 Sears stores that their locations would close later this year.

Sears also reported lower sales for its fiscal first quarter, extending a streak of declines going back more than six years. The last time quarterly sales rose from a year earlier was in the third period of 2011, when the once-dominant retailer posted $9.4 billion in revenue, according to data from Thomson Reuters .

In the quarter ended May 5, total revenue dropped 31% from a year earlier to $2.89 billion.

Same-store sales fell 13% at Sears locations and by 9.5% at the company’s Kmart outlets. The retailer operated 894 total locations as of the end of the quarter, down from 1,275 a year earlier.

Sears swung to a first-quarter net loss of $424 million from a profit of $245 million. The year-earlier period included a $741 million lift from asset sales. In the latest period, Sears recorded a $165 million benefit.

Sears is currently weighing whether to shed its Kenmore appliance brand and other units. The moves follow prodding by Sears Chief Executive Edward Lampert, who has proposed that his hedge fund purchase the assets if the company is unable to find other buyers. Mr. Lampert is Sears’s biggest investor and among its biggest lenders.

He said an April letter to the Sears board that his ESL Investments Inc., which owns a controlling stake in the retailer, is willing to submit offers for Kenmore, the Sears Home Improvement and Parts Direct businesses as well as some real estate, including $1.2 billion in debt secured by the properties.

Sears has hired advisers and said earlier this month that it initiated a formal sale process. On Tuesday, ESL, in another letter to the Sears board, said it had “received numerous inbound inquiries from potential partners,” and has requested permission from the special committee of the board to engage with such partners in order “to put forward a definitive proposal.”

Amazon vs. Sears: A Tale of Two Retailers

Dismantling Sears to Save It

Investors, suppliers and landlords have grown increasingly concerned about the company’s future, forcing Sears to pay cash up front for many goods and ESL to regularly extend the company credit. Sears’s Canadian arm filed for protection from creditors last year and decided to liquidate. Sears had spun off most of its stake in Sears Canada SRSCQ -8.33% in recent years, but retained 12% ownership.

The company’s shares, which closed at an all-time high of $142.51 in April 2007, now languish at around $3. Shares fell 12% in Thursday trading, its largest single-day percentage decline in more than a year.

Last year, Sears struck a deal to sell Kenmore products on Amazon.com Inc., broadening its reach beyond Sears and Kmart stores. It also began selling its DieHard batteries on Amazon. In 2017, it sold its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc., which is expanding distribution of the tools, lawn and garden equipment to other retailers.

Mr. Lampert’s interest in purchasing Kenmore and the other businesses extends a string of transactions in which he is often on both sides. In addition to serving as Sears’s chairman and CEO, he is also chairman of, and a major investor in, Seritage, which ranks among Sears’s biggest landlords.

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Sears, an American retail staple since 1886, has been struggling in recent years, closing stores, selling off assets and borrowing money. But it wasn’t always this way. Gordon Weil, author of "Sears, Roebuck, USA," looks back on the history of the retailer. Photo: Getty

—Theo Francis contributed to this article.

Write to Suzanne Kapner at Suzanne.Kapner@wsj.com and Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

Sears Holdings Corp. SHLD -12.46% said Thursday it plans to close more than 60 stores it has deemed unprofitable, as the retailer continues to struggle with falling sales.

Sears has been closing hundreds of stores in recent years, selling brands and spinning off divisions to stay afloat amid mounting losses and the defection of customers to Walmart Inc., Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.29% and other outlets.

The company said it had identified 100 unprofitable stores overall and notified workers Thursday at 15 Kmart and 48 Sears stores that their locations would close later this year.

Sears also reported lower sales for its fiscal first quarter, extending a streak of declines going back more than six years. The last time quarterly sales rose from a year earlier was in the third period of 2011, when the once-dominant retailer posted $9.4 billion in revenue, according to data from Thomson Reuters .

In the quarter ended May 5, total revenue dropped 31% from a year earlier to $2.89 billion.

Same-store sales fell 13% at Sears locations and by 9.5% at the company’s Kmart outlets. The retailer operated 894 total locations as of the end of the quarter, down from 1,275 a year earlier.

Sears swung to a first-quarter net loss of $424 million from a profit of $245 million. The year-earlier period included a $741 million lift from asset sales. In the latest period, Sears recorded a $165 million benefit.

Sears is currently weighing whether to shed its Kenmore appliance brand and other units. The moves follow prodding by Sears Chief Executive Edward Lampert, who has proposed that his hedge fund purchase the assets if the company is unable to find other buyers. Mr. Lampert is Sears’s biggest investor and among its biggest lenders.

He said an April letter to the Sears board that his ESL Investments Inc., which owns a controlling stake in the retailer, is willing to submit offers for Kenmore, the Sears Home Improvement and Parts Direct businesses as well as some real estate, including $1.2 billion in debt secured by the properties.

Sears has hired advisers and said earlier this month that it initiated a formal sale process. On Tuesday, ESL, in another letter to the Sears board, said it had “received numerous inbound inquiries from potential partners,” and has requested permission from the special committee of the board to engage with such partners in order “to put forward a definitive proposal.”

Amazon vs. Sears: A Tale of Two Retailers

Dismantling Sears to Save It

Investors, suppliers and landlords have grown increasingly concerned about the company’s future, forcing Sears to pay cash up front for many goods and ESL to regularly extend the company credit. Sears’s Canadian arm filed for protection from creditors last year and decided to liquidate. Sears had spun off most of its stake in Sears Canada SRSCQ -8.33% in recent years, but retained 12% ownership.

The company’s shares, which closed at an all-time high of $142.51 in April 2007, now languish at around $3. Shares fell 12% in Thursday trading, its largest single-day percentage decline in more than a year.

Last year, Sears struck a deal to sell Kenmore products on Amazon.com Inc., broadening its reach beyond Sears and Kmart stores. It also began selling its DieHard batteries on Amazon. In 2017, it sold its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc., which is expanding distribution of the tools, lawn and garden equipment to other retailers.

Mr. Lampert’s interest in purchasing Kenmore and the other businesses extends a string of transactions in which he is often on both sides. In addition to serving as Sears’s chairman and CEO, he is also chairman of, and a major investor in, Seritage, which ranks among Sears’s biggest landlords.

Your browser does not support HTML5 video.

0:00 / 0:00

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in 15

Sears, an American retail staple since 1886, has been struggling in recent years, closing stores, selling off assets and borrowing money. But it wasn’t always this way. Gordon Weil, author of "Sears, Roebuck, USA," looks back on the history of the retailer. Photo: Getty

—Theo Francis contributed to this article.

Write to Suzanne Kapner at Suzanne.Kapner@wsj.com and Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

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