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Sears to make staff reductions

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HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp. will cut about 400 full-time jobs, mostly at headquarters, as part of its turnaround effort.

The positions being eliminated also include support functions globally, certain field operations positions and jobs related to store closures. The eliminated jobs amount to less than 0.5% of the 140,000 full- and part-time employees the operator of Sears and Kmart had at the end of ­January.

The job cuts are part of the company’s previously announced plan to shave $1.25 billion in costs annually. Sears, which has been losing money for years, has been shuttering stores, divesting locations and putting well-known brands up for sale. It will reportedly shutter another 66 outlets by late summer — on top of the 150 that were closed in the spring.

“We are making progress with the fundamental restructuring of our operations that we initiated in February,” said Sears Holdings chairman and chief executive officer Edward Lampert. “We remain focused on realigning our business model in an evolving and highly competitive retail environment. This requires us to optimize our store footprint and operate as a leaner and simpler organization.”

Since the beginning of 2017, the company has produced $1 billion in annualized cost savings, paid down approximately $418 million of term loans outstanding under a revolving credit facility, and extended the maturity of $400 million of its $500 million 2016 secured loan facility up to 12 months.

It also entered into an agreement with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. to annuitize $515 million of pension liability to reduce the overall size of the Sears’ pension plan, future cost volatility and plan administrative expenses. And monetization of certain real estate properties generated over $200 million in proceeds.

Sears said it has seen continued growth of the Shop Your Way reward program through strategic partnerships and value offerings, including recently announced partnerships with Citi and Time Inc.

“We will continue to take all necessary action to drive improvements in our organization to achieve our profitability objective with a greater focus on best members, best categories, best stores strategy,” the company said.


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