UPDATE 3-Sears same-store sales fall as demand for electronic goods wane

Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:15pm EST
 
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* Third-quarter revenue falls 6 pct to $8.86 bln

* U.S. same-store sales fall 3.1 percent

* Shares down 6 percent after the bell

By Arpita Mukherjee and Chris Peters

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, but poor demand for popular consumer electronic products took a toll on its same-store sales, triggering a 6 percent fall in the retailer's shares.

The growing popularity of smartphones as a multi-purpose device is eating into the sales of other best-selling electronic items such as digital cameras, MP3 players and camcorders, leading to a fall in their prices.

"The retail industry continues to change dramatically and rapidly. It will never go back to what it was and we have seen the consequences for those that have not changed fast enough," Chief Executive Louis D'Ambrosio said on a conference call with analysts.

Same-stores sales at J.C. Penney, which are located next to Sears in most malls, fell 26.1 percent in its most recent quarter, its worst drop since CEO Ron Johnson began his radical transformation of the department store chain earlier this year.

U.S. same-store sales at Sears, which is controlled by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, fell 3.1 percent, including a 1.6 percent decline at Sears' namesake department stores and a 4.8 percent fall at Kmart.   Continued...