Sears is continuing on its cost-cutting spree, announcing additional layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois and more store closures for the coming year. The company has been aggressively slimming down since declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October of last year. The company had 68,000 total employees, including 32,000 full-time workers, at more than 400 stores when it filed for bankruptcy.
Sears’ parent company, Transform Holdco, announced the layoff of 250 corporate employees in a notice filed with the state of Illinois on August 29. The company said in the letter, “Affected employees will be placed on a paid administrative leave effective immediately for the time prior to the employment termination date,” which the notice indicated would take effect in October. According to the company, the terminated employees are not represented by a union.
As of January 2017, Sears had 4,411 employees in Hoffman Estates and its Loop satellite office, according to state filings. By June 2017, Sears had fewer than the 4,250 employees needed to remain eligible for state tax credits at the locations. Sears has eliminated more than 1,100 jobs since then, mostly at the Hoffman Estates headquarters. The company declined to say how many employees remained there after the latest round of layoffs.
Sears also announced plans to close another round of Sears and Kmart stores before the end of the year. Sears spokesman Larry Costello said that many of the stores included in the new round of closures will be shut down by the end of the year, with liquidations expected to start in September. Costello declined to say how many stores are included in the latest round of closures.
In early August, the company announced a round of 26 stores scheduled to close by November. In response to an inquiry about the latest round of closings, Sears said: “As we continue our transformation efforts, we are working closely with our stakeholders, and evaluating our network of stores, operations, and business strategy in order to stabilize the business and support a long-term path to profitable success.”