By John Kell
May 22, 2014

FORTUNE —¬†Department-store retailer Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) has reported a wider fiscal first-quarter loss as sales dipped. The results come as the company is in the process of closing 80 or more stores this year.

A handful of retailers–including Macy’s Inc. (M), J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO)–have signaled plans this year to shutter underperforming stores. The sector broadly reported disappointing sales for the latest holiday season, and results in the first quarter were further challenged by weak traffic and severe winter weather.

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Meanwhile, Sears, controlled by billionaire hedge-fund investor Edward Lampert, has sought to shed assets and spin off businesses as it tries to turn around its mass-market retail stores. Earlier this year, it completed the spin off of Lands End Inc. (LE), resulting in gross proceeds of $500 million, and the company is still mulling a potential separation of its auto center business and strategic alternatives for its stake in Sears Canada. The company has also closed hundreds of stores since 2010.

For the period ended May 3, Sears reported a 6.8% drop in revenue, falling to $7.88 billion. Same-store sales at the company’s namesake stores grew 0.2%, but declined 2.2% at Kmart.

Overall, Sears reported a net loss of $402 million, or $3.79 a share, compared to a prior-year loss of $279 million, or $2.63 a share.

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Lampert, in a letter to shareholders, said he believed 2014 would be a year when Sears demonstrates its efforts to evolve beyond a store-based retailer to an integrated model.

“That may sound odd given our financial results,” Lampert wrote. “But not only do I believe that we are headed in the right direction in important ways, I believe the entire retail industry is headed to where we already are.”

(Update: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Sears on Thursday announced it would close 80 stores, but that plan was previously disclosed. The story has been updated to reflect this correction.)


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