Sears is to revamp its advertising message to shift focus away from prices to the variety of brands it offers in its department stores, the New York Post reported.

The retailer wants to avoid competition with discounters such as Target and Wal-Mart - a battle that has driven down its profits over the past financial year.

Sears, the US's fourth-largest retailer, is suffering from the difficult consumer spending environment, said Jeffrey M Feiner, an analyst at Lehman Brothers.

"Relatively speaking, Sears is holding its own," he added, "but that's still not as much as investors would like."

Sears results for July showed a 2.5 per cent decline in total sales and a three per cent decline in sales at stores open for over a year, known in the industry as same-store sales. In the same quarter, Sears' revenue from retailing, its mainstay money-maker, fell 1.1 per cent from the corresponding period of 2000.

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