Major department store group Sears, Roebuck and Co on Thursday said its third quarter net profit fell due to a huge charge related to the restructuring of its Great Indoors home decorating chain.

The Illinois-based operator of 870 full-line stores posted a net profit for the quarter ended September 27 of $147 million, or 52 cents per share, versus $189m, or 59 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding a $141m charge related to the changes at Great Indoors, it enjoyed earnings per share of 84 cents.

Sales for the third quarter edged up 1.1 per cent year-on-year to $7.3 billion, with same-store sales up 1.2 per cent.

"Within apparel (and accessories), improved merchandise offerings resulted in comparable store sales increases in the women's ready-to-wear, men's and footwear categories,” Sears said in a statement.

Chairman and CEO, Alan Lacy, added: "The third quarter results were in line with our expectations. We are pleased with our return to sales growth following two years of a fundamental repositioning and restructuring of our core business.

"We are pleased with the performance of the Lands' End and Covington brands. We completed the roll-out of Lands' End merchandise to another 470 stores during the month of September and now carry the brand in all of our full-line stores nationwide.

"We continue to see a broader sales improvement provided by our Lands' End brands in Sears' full-line stores, as comparable store apparel sales for stores carrying the merchandise out- performed those without."