Sears Holdings laid off about 130 corporate employees Thursday, part of a restructuring plan aimed at cutting at least $1 billion in costs this year.
The 130 employees worked in various roles at Sears' corporate offices, mostly in its Hoffman Estates headquarters, Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite said.
Sears Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert, in a letter to employees, said the job cuts were needed to "create a more nimble operating structure capable of driving the company's strategic transformation forward."
Other steps in the restructuring are still being planned, Lampert said in the letter.
"We need to continue to take action to adapt to the new realities of the retail industry and become more efficient and more competitive over the long term," Lampert wrote. "This is an important phase in our transformation and all of you will play a role in helping us redefine the way (we) work and as we deliver our best products and services to our Shop Your Way members through the restructuring program."
Sears declined to say how many employees currently work at its headquarters, but Brathwaite said it remains above the 4,250 employees required by a package of tax breaks Sears received after threatening to leave the state in 2011. At the time, Sears had 6,200 employees at its headquarters.
The deal gave Sears state tax credits worth $15 million a year for 10 years, which it can use against withheld employee income taxes.
The restructuring plan was outlined last month by the parent of Sears and Kmart after another quarter of losses, with sales at stores open at least a year down 10.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2016.
The $1 billion cost-cutting target includes previously announced plans to close 150 Sears and Kmart stores, improve the selection of products while cutting unprofitable categories, and "actively manage (its) real estate portfolio to identify additional opportunities for reconfiguration and reduction of capital operations," Sears said in a news release.
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