The slow, painful demise of Sears continues.

The struggling retailer, which also owns equally troubled Kmart, reported a loss of $471 million in the first quarter, worse than a year ago. Sales fell more than 8%.

Sears (SHLD) also announced that it may sell three of its iconic brands — Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard. The company said it is looking at strategic alternatives for its Home Services installation and repair businesses as well.

These three brands — dubbed KCD by the company — are still well-known and popular.

In a pre-recorded call for analysts and investors, CFO Rob Schriesheim said the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands are “beloved by the American consumer” (I own a Crafstman tool box. Don’t you? And who hasn’t had a Kenmore washer or dryer?)

But Schriesheim said that “the recent performance of Sears and Kmart have impeded their ability to grow.”

Adding insult to injury, Sears said Thursday that Schriesheim will be stepping down to pursue other interests. Schriesheim will stay on in his current role until a replacement has been found.

Investors weren’t sure what to make of all this.

Sears shares surged (she sells seashells by the seashore?) as much as 10% early Thursday morning before pulling back and giving up all those gains by late morning. But by the end of the day, the stock had rebounded and was up nearly 6%. Read More

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