What happened

Shares of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD), best known for its Sears and Kmart stores that consumers have increasingly ignored, are down 4.6% as of 2:40 p.m. EST -- making its year-to-date decline a stunning 48% -- after the company provided an update on its third quarter.

So what

Investors knew the Sears' story was in a tailspin, and that's again evident glancing at the once prominent retailer's sales. During the third quarter its revenues checked in $3.7 billion, down from the prior year's $5 billion mark, with store closures largely to blame for the decline. But another part of the revenue tailspin was that fewer people are shopping: Total comparable store sales declined a staggering 15.3% during the third quarter. That split to a 13% decline at Kmart stores and a more significant 17% decline at its namesake Sears' stores.

Vacant commercial retail parking lot and building

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Sears put its best spin on a bad situation in Wednesday's press release: "In addition, we expect a net loss attributable to Sears Holdings' shareholders of between $595 million and $525 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared to a net loss attributable to Sears Holdings' shareholders of $748 million in the prior year third quarter, an improvement of approximately $190 million."

SHLD Chart

SHLD data by YCharts

Management is putting forth its best effort to generate cash to keep the business afloat and attempt a turnaround. Sears has sold significant assets, such as the Craftsman brand, and closed the doors on hundreds of stores annually, but it certainly seems farfetched at this point to expect any type of turnaround.

Daniel Miller has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.