Sears has been struggling with continued softness in store traffic and elevated price competition

Sears has been struggling with continued softness in store traffic and elevated price competition

Edward Lampert, owner and CEO of Sears Holdings has thrown another lifeline to the troubled retail chain with a further cash injection in the lead-up to the key holiday shopping season.

Lampert has lent Sears US$100m from his hedge fund ESL Investments at an annual interest rate of 11%, bringing the total in its loan agreement to $499.4m.

The chief executive has also agreed to lend the retailer an additional $100m between now and 1 December if needed – if Sears Holdings pledges additional real estate.

The company says it will use the proceeds of the new borrowing for "general corporate purposes," with the news sending its share price up 1.4% to $7.29.

In August, the retailer said its second-quarter loss narrowed to $251m, but sales continued to struggle, with revenues at Sears and Kmart stores open at least a year down 11.5%. The company cited the challenging retail environment, continued softness in store traffic, and elevated price competition for the declines – and announced plans to close a further 28 Kmart stores in addition to the 180 it already planned to shut.

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