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Amid vendor pressure, Sears looks to more sources of cash

A Sears store in Peoria, Ill.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg| Getty Images

A Sears store in Peoria, Ill.

Sears Holdings announced Wednesday a number of steps it’s taking to gain more liquidity as its sales continue to erode at a double-digit pace.

Sears entered into an agreement with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, releasing about 140 Sears properties from ring-fence arrangement in exchange for $407 million of contributions to Sears’ pension plans.

The company said this step will allow it to sell properties to gain more financial flexibility and provides relief from contributions to the pension plans for the next two years.

Sears also pre-announced its third-quarter earnings, saying the department store chain’s same-store sales tumbled 15.3 percent during the period.

“The retail environment remains challenging, with continued pressures on sales,” Sears said in a statement.

Sears had total revenues of roughly $3.7 billion during the third quarter of 2017, compared to $5.0 billion a year ago. Recent store closures contributed to over half the declines, the company added.

Sales were also hurt by a reduction in the number of pharmacies open in Kmart stores, and fewer consumer electronics sold, Sears said.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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