THE NEWS: Sears Holding Corp. said its loss narrowed in the second quarter as a result of cost cuts and reduced inventory levels. But sales continue to fall at its Sears and Kmart stores.
THE DETAILS: The Hoffman Estates, Ill., company said revenue at Sears stores in the U.S. open at least a year fell 2.9 percent. The figure declined 4.7 percent for Kmart locations. The metric is a good indicator of a retailer's of health because it strips out the volatility of newly opened and closed locations.
THE BACKGROUND: After years of declining sales, Sears has been working to improve the customer experience in its stores. In May, the company said that it had invested heavily in improving displays and gave sales staff iPads to help customers check out wherever they are in the store.