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Sears to Announce Layoffs for Kmart

Sears Holdings Corp. is expected to announce to its Kmart employees sometime this week that it will lay off workers.

NEW YORK – Sears Holdings Corp. is expected to announce to its Kmart employees sometime this week that it will lay off workers.

A spokesman at Sears Holdings, Kmart’s parent, said Wednesday that there will be “changes to the [Kmart] workforce at the store level,” but did not say how many people will be affected.

The spokesman said the changes will impact each of the Kmart stores differently, with some having fewer employees and others hiring additional staff. There will also be some Kmart stores that will see no change to its staff. He said the adjustment in staffing levels is part of the typical review that’s done at the end of the holiday season.

The expected staffing changes will not impact any Sears stores, according to the spokesman. He also declined to disclose whether the bulk of the cuts will be from among seasonal part-timers or if full-timers will be affected. He also declined comment on how many jobs will be lost or added to Kmart’s workforce.

Word of the job cuts was first reported Wednesday in The Detroit News.

According to Kmart’s Web site, it operates 1,479 Kmart and Kmart Super Center retail outlets in 49 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. There are more than 133,000 Kmart associates nationwide.

Employees at Kmart have suffered through job cuts before. During the company’s tour of bankruptcy – it filed in January 2002 and exited in May 2003 – the discounter shed 22,000 jobs when it announced in March 2002 that it would shutter 284 stores as part of its restructuring. Nearly a year later in January 2003, Kmart closed about 320 stores and eliminated up to 35,000 jobs in the process. The bloodletting continued into April of 2003 when the company said it would shed 660 jobs at the company’s then headquarters in Troy, Mich.