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Kmart Reports $1.02 Billion Loss in April

DETROIT - Kmart Corp. on Thursday reported a $1.02 billion net loss during the five weeks ended May 1 and restated its losses for the remainder of the period since the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, The Associated Press reports.

The new figures filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show the discount retailer has lost $1.47 billion from February through April, after losing $2.42 billion during its entire 2001 fiscal year, which ended Jan. 30.

For the five-week period ended May 1, Kmart reported sales of $3.2 billion. Sales at stores open at least a year were $2.08 billion during the five-week period, down nearly 16.4 percent from the same period a year ago. By comparison, same-store sales at discount rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rose 3.3 percent.

"That's not good for a store that seeks to emerge from bankruptcy," Jerry Reisman, a partner in Reisman, Peirez & Reisman, told AP. "That's a very large percentage for a company that needs increased revenue to gain the confidence of its suppliers."

Chief Financial Officer Al Koch attributed the decline in same-store sales to a lack of Easter-related purchases in April and colder weather, according to AP.

But the company's same-store sales have been down at least 8.4 percent in each of the last three months, raising concerns that shoppers are defecting from Kmart during its troubled times.

Kmart is planning a "Welcome Back Sale" in early June to draw shoppers, Koch said.

"It's not unusual for store traffic to decline when retailers file bankruptcy," he said. "We are writing to our customers from our customer database that we know shop with us, and were offering them some promotional discounts to bring them into the stores."
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