Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

business

Sears to Eliminate About 220 Corporate Jobs

  • The cuts will mainly hit the retailer’s Illinois headquarters
  • Retailer also has been closing stores as sales decline

Sears Holdings Corp. is cutting about 220 jobs at its corporate offices, the latest shake-up for a department-store chain racked by declining sales and mounting red ink.

The retailer is eliminating positions across the organization, but the cutbacks are focused on its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, according to spokesman Howard Riefs. The company, which also operates the Kmart chain, will provide severance and other help to eligible workers, he said.

Sears is taking the step as part of a broader push to cut costs and inch closer to profitability. But the once-dominant retailer faces an uphill battle in trying to restore its former glory. Comparable-store sales, a closely followed benchmark, fell as much as 17 percent at Sears and Kmart during the holiday season.

As part of its comeback plan, Sears has been closing stores, selling off real estate and getting out of less profitable categories. And it has borrowed money from its biggest investor, Edward Lampert, a billionaire hedge fund manager who also serves as Sears’s chief executive officer. The belt-tightening has included shaving $1.25 billion from its annual expenses.

“We made significant progress in our efforts to improve our financial position and to sharpen our operating focus,” Riefs said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. The latest layoffs are part of Sears’s “goal to return the company to profitability.”

CNBC previously reported on the cuts.

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