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Sears Holdings to revamp business structure

ATLANTA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Retailer Sears Holdings Corp SHLD.O, looking to turn around its business in wake of recent profit declines, said on Saturday that it was changing its organizational structure to give business units greater control.

“We are introducing an organizational structure that provides operating businesses with greater control, authority and autonomy,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

“Each operating business unit will have a designated leader and an advisory group comprised of senior Sears Holdings executives to provide direction and oversee the business unit’s performance,” it added.

On Monday, the retailer controlled by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert warned that fourth-quarter profit could be less than half that of a year ago and said its holiday sales fell as the crumbling U.S. housing market and increased competition hurt its business.

The operator of Kmart and Sears stores has reported profit declines for the past two quarters, and sales at stores open at least a year have fallen at both chains for the past seven quarters.

Sears Holdings stock, which closed at $89.43 in Nasdaq trading on Friday, is down more than 50 percent from a high of $195.18 reached in April 2007.

Sears Holdings, formed in a 2005 merger of Kmart and Sears, competes with many other retailers, including Macy's Inc M.N in the sale of clothing and Wal-Mart Stores WMT.N and other discounters in general merchandise. In appliances and tools, it vies with Home Depot HD.N and Lowe's Companies LOW.N.

The reorganization was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.

Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Philip Barbara

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