Sears is laying off hundreds of corporate employees after announcing 96 store closings

  • Sears is laying off hundreds of corporate employees less than a week after announcing a new round of store closures, the company confirmed to Business Insider.
  • Some employees were told in group meetings on Wednesday that they would be losing their jobs. “It was a group layoff,” one person said. “There was a heartfelt apology, but that was it. … It was very abrupt, very quick.”
  • Sears’ parent company, Transformco, which also owns Kmart stores, confirmed the layoffs in a statement to Business Insider.
  • The total number of laid-off employees is fewer than 300, according to a source with direct knowledge of the staffing changes.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sears is laying off hundreds of corporate workers less than a week after announcing a new round of store closures, the company confirmed to Business Insider.

The layoffs impacted workers at Sears’ headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, as well as the company’s offices in San Francisco. The total number of laid-off employees is fewer than 300, according to a source with direct knowledge of the staffing changes.

Some employees were informed of the layoffs in group meetings.

At the company’s San Francisco office, more than two dozen employees were called into a room on Wednesday, where representatives announced that they would all lose their jobs, according to someone who attended the meeting and requested anonymity.

“It was a group layoff,” this person said. “There was a heartfelt apology, but that was it. … It was very abrupt, very quick.”

No individual meetings were held because “everyone was in the same boat,” this person said. This wasn’t the only group layoff meeting at the San Francisco office on Wednesday, sources said.

Sears’ parent company, Transformco, which also owns Kmart stores, confirmed the layoffs in a statement to Business Insider.

“Since purchasing substantially all the assets of Sears Holdings Corporation in February 2019, Transformco has faced a difficult retail environment,” the statement said. “We have been working hard to position Transformco for success by focusing on our competitive strengths and pruning operations that have struggled due to increased competition and other factors. Unfortunately, this process resulted in a number of difficult but necessary decisions, including closing stores and making adjustments at our corporate headquarters and field positions to reflect our new structure. We regret the impact that this has on our associates and their families.”

The company last laid off corporate employees in September. That round of layoffs impacted about 250 people.

The new round of layoffs comes after the company announced last week that it plans to close 96 more Sears and Kmart stores by February. Following that round of closures, the company will have about 180 Sears and Kmart stores remaining in operation.

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