• Q1 loss doubles to CAD75.2m
  • Revenues fall 11% to $771.7m
  • Same store sales down 7.6%

Ailing retailer Sears Canada more than doubled its loss during the first quarter, after unseasonable weather dented demand for spring merchandise.

The group's net loss amounted to CAD75.2m (US$69m) during the 13 weeks to 3 May, compared to a loss of CAD31.2m in the same period of the prior year.

This included CAD7.6m in pre-tax transformation expenses related primarily to severance costs incurred during the quarter, as well as CAD11.2m in pre-tax lease exit costs, warranty and other costs related to SHS and costs for the future settlement of retirement benefits.

Revenues fell 11% to $771.7m from $867.1m in the prior year, while same store sales dropped 7.6%. Although same store sales in apparel and accessories were comparable to last year in dollars, they increased 4% from a units standpoint.

"The unseasonable weather had an adverse effect on our revenues," said president and CEO Douglas Campbell. "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."

Sears Canada has been struggling for some time. In January, the retailer revealed it would lay off another 624 staff, less than a month after it announced 1,600-plus job cuts to drive efficiencies and reduce costs.