* First-quarter net loss more than doubles
* Sales falls 11 pct, same-store sales down 7.6 pct
* Sales of Spring merchandise were below last year-CEO
* Sears Canada's shares marginally lower
* Shares of parent co Sears Holdings falls 4.7 pct
(Adds background on Sears Canada and Target, updates share
May 21 Sears Canada Inc posted its
steepest fall in quarterly sales in almost five years, denting
the struggling department store chain's turnaround efforts.
Sears Canada's shares were little changed, but shares of
Sears Holdings Corp, which said last week it was
looking to sell its 51 percent stake in Sears Canada, fell as
much as 4.7 percent.
Sears Canada, whose sales have declined for six straight
years, echoed its Canadian rivals in blaming a prolonged winter
in the country for its net loss more than doubling in the first
quarter ended May 3.
"Sales of Spring merchandise were below last year, as
winter-like weather was prevalent in most parts of the country
well into the new season, with cooler temperatures and
significantly more snow in many areas," CEO Douglas Campbell
said in a statement.
Sears Canada, which traces its Canadian roots back to the
early 1950s, has fallen on hard times in recent years as it lost
market share to U.S. rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc
and Target Corp, who have been aggressively expanding in
Target, itself grappling with mounting losses in Canada, on
Wednesday cut its full-year sales forecast for the country, a
day after firing the president of its Canadian operation.
Sears Canada has eliminated some 3,000 positions since
November, sold several of its most valuable leases over the past
year and closed several stores last year as it tries to navigate
The company said on Wednesday same-store sales fell 7.6
percent, while total revenue fell 11 percent to C$771.7 million
($705.8 million) in the quarter. This was the steepest fall in
sales after a 12 percent fall in the second quarter of fiscal
Sears Canada's net loss widened to C$75.2 million, or 74
Canadian cents per share, from C$31.2 million, or 31 Canadian
cents per share, a year earlier.
The company's shares were marginally lower at C$15.23 in
afternoon trading on Toronto Stock Exchange.
The stock's 60 percent rise in the past 12 months is higher
than the 15 percent rise in the TSX-Toronto Stock Exchange 300
($1 = 1.0934 Canadian Dollars)
(Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by
Don Sebastian and Savio D'Souza)