Department Stores

Sears laid off 200 more people at its corporate offices

Key Points
  • Sears in June made another round of layoffs at its corporate offices in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
  • About 200 workers were let go, with about 150 of those working specifically at Sears’ Hoffman Estates support center.
  • The size of the remaining staff at Sears' corporate offices isn't immediately known.
A sign marks the entrance to the headquarters campus of Sears Holding in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
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More layoffs have taken place at the corporate offices of Sears Holdings in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

According to a WARN notice filed in Illinois a few weeks ago that was obtained by CNBC, about 200 workers have been laid off from the department store chain, with about 150 of those working specifically at Sears’ Hoffman Estates support center.

On June 26, CEO Eddie Lampert sent a note, which was also obtained by CNBC, to employees reading:

“As we work to advance our strategic transformation, we all know that we must return the company to profitability in order to retain the confidence of our constituents. This means continuing to look at ways to streamline our operations while staying focused on our Best Members, Best Categories and Best Stores. Today, we made the very difficult decision to eliminate a number of positions across various business units and roles. While these changes didn't impact a large percentage of our workforce, your leadership team and I want you to know that these decisions were not taken lightly or easily. We are grateful for the contributions of these associates and we are committed to treating them with compassion and respect during this challenging time, including offering severance and outplacement assistance to make career transitions easier for all who are eligible. Having co-workers and friends leave the organization is never easy, but making changes like these are a necessary part of creating a stronger organization in this time of industry disruption. We continue to fight every day to improve the performance of Sears Holdings — and you are central to that effort. I ask everyone to remain focused on the OKRs you set for the quarter as your goals can have a direct impact on our company’s transformation. By building meaningful relationships with our members — who look to us for our brands, our services and convenience — we can drive sales and put our company on the right path for the future. Thank you for your continued commitment to Sears Holdings.”

This follows a round of about 220 jobs cut at Sears’ corporate offices earlier this year.

It wasn't immediately clear how many people still work for Sears in Hoffman Estates, and the company declined to comment.

Sears, having recently announced its plans to shutter 100 more unprofitable stores, is in the midst of evaluating a deal where Lampert would use his hedge fund vehicle, ESL Investments, to purchase some of the retailer’s assets to infuse cash into the business to keep it afloat.

The company has been looking for ways to make it through the 2018 holiday season. It recently landed a deal with Citi for its branded credit card that injected more than $400 million into the business. It also earlier this month extended another credit facility, buying the company more time to pay back loans.

Sears’ sales continue to plummet as its stores deteriorate and shoppers opt to buy goods online or elsewhere. The department store chain was once the largest retailer in the U.S., but today names like Walmart and Amazon top that list.

Shares of Sears have fallen roughly 68 percent from a year ago to trade around $2.40 apiece. The company has a market capitalization of about $259 million, compared with Macy's, which has a market capitalization of $11.2 billion, and J.C. Penney, which has a market capitalization of about $745 million.

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