Struggling Sears Holdings Corp. has eliminated 220 positions, mostly at its corporate headquarters at Hoffman Estates.
Sears characterized the layoffs as part of its restructuring program: “Positions in various business units and roles across the organization were impacted. The company will provide severance and transition assistance to those who are eligible and, as always, we are committed to treating associates with compassion and respect during this difficult time.”
While credit analysts have wondered about the viability of the Sears and Kmart nameplates, Sears chairman and chief executive officer Edward S. Lampert said in a blog post earlier this month that Sears is still viable. And executives have said the company still has assets it can sell to generate cash to buy it more time to effect a turnaround of operations. Critics have said most of those initiatives are centered on financial maneuvers to bolster the balance sheet and that they do nothing to improve the merchandising needed to attract consumers into the stores.
In Wednesday’s statement about the layoffs, Sears continued to tout the progress it has made on the financial front in connection with its restructuring program.
The company continues to achieve significant progress in our restructuring program, with actions taken in fiscal-year 2017 to realize $1.25 billion in annualized cost savings,” it said. “We have taken incremental actions to simplify our organizational structure, further streamline the company’s operations, reduce unprofitable categories and close underperforming stores. As a result of these actions, in addition to other liquidity and strategic actions, we made significant progress in our efforts to improve our financial position and to sharpen our operating focus.”