RETAIL: Parent of Sears, Kmart still looking frail

Once a mainstay in American shopping culture, the parent of Sears and Kmart stores took another step backward Thursday when it announced a second-quarter loss.

Although Sears Holdings Corp. is paying down debt and has a $1.3 billion cash war chest – enough to give investors confidence in its financial footing for now – experts say it desperately needs to end years of declining sales if it wants to stay viable.

Led by Chairman Edward Lampert and an interim CEO who’s been at the helm for more than 18 months, Sears continues to struggle to attract shoppers who, even before the recession, were taking their wallets to competitors that offered more products at cheaper prices with more appealing store atmospheres.

The Associated Press