Sears Canada speeding up investments in turnaround effort: CEO

Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:01pm EST
 
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Sears Canada Inc SCC.TO is stepping up spending on areas such as its website and profitable merchandise categories while looking to exit unprofitable product lines as part of its turnaround plan, the retailer's new acting chief executive said on Friday.

"We're going to make some of those tough decision about businesses in short order," Ron Boire told Reuters in an interview, adding that the company was in a very strong liquidity position, with no short- or long-term debt.

"We have all of the ... capital capability that we need to fund the transformation and operation of the business. We're very comfortable with that."

He declined to reveal which long-time product lines may be cut, but said details will be given at the shareholders meeting in April.

Sears Canada, which has seen its fourth CEO in three years, has been working on turning around operations, but posted another loss during the third quarter on declining sales.

The company, which terminated its leases in several prime locations in a C$400 million deal and has cut some 3,000 employees since late last year, has seen its market share erode for years.

Boire, who took the helm in October, would not disclose how Sears Canada has performed so far this holiday season, but noted products like some of its Alpinetek parkas have sold out.

He said he has spent the last two months focusing on the long-term future of the department store chain, which has positioned itself to target middle-income Canadians.   Continued...

 
A customer enters the closing down Sears store is shown in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia September13, 2012. REUTERS/Andy Clark