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Sears Holdings moves from loss to profit in Q1

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings reported profits of $189 million during first quarter 2012, compared with a $165 million loss in first quarter 2011, the company said.

"We are pleased with the results for the first quarter and our progress toward restoring profit growth and transforming our company," president and CEO Lou D’Ambrosio said.

D’Ambrosio attributed the results to the company’s efforts to enhance financial and operational discipline; improve core retail operations; and emphasize an integrated retail model and use the Shop Your Way Rewards program to attract and retain customers.

Still, the company’s sales saw a decline, with sales for the quarter of $9.3 billion, down $270 million from first quarter 2011. Kmart’s comps decreased by 1.6%, while the mass-merchandise retailer’s total sales were $3.42 billion, compared with $3.48 billion in first quarter 2011. Kmart operated 1,290 stores as of April 28, 2012, compared with 1,305 as of April 30, 2011.

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Duck Tape introduces SpongeBob SquarePants pattern

BY Allison Cerra

AVON, Ohio — A duct tape brand has debuted a new duct tape pattern featuring a character from one of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series.

Duck Tape’s SpongeBob SquarePants pattern features a bright yellow background with multiple SpongeBob expressions to reflect the character’s humor and enthusiasm, the company said. The new tape now is available at retailers nationwide.

"Duck Tape has evolved from Dad’s favorite fix-all to a crafting tool with endless possibilities," said Scott Sommers, director of marketing for ShurTech Brands. "SpongeBob’s irresistible positivity will add a fun touch to any project, and we look forward to the creations that children and adults will develop together using the fun, new pattern."

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Harris Teeter declares quarterly dividend

BY Allison Cerra

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Regional supermarket chain Harris Teeter announced that its board of directots has declared a quarterly dividend of 14 cents per share.

The dividend is to be paid on July 1 to shareholders of record on June 8.

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