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updated: 1/31/2018 5:23 PM

Sears lays off 220 workers, most at Hoffman Estates headquarters

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  • Sears Holdings Corp. says it's laying off 220 workers primarily at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates as the company struggles to turn around its ailing business.

      Sears Holdings Corp. says it's laying off 220 workers primarily at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates as the company struggles to turn around its ailing business.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer, file photo

 
 

Sears Holdings Corp. said Wednesday it is laying off about 220 workers, the majority of those at the corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates.

The cuts will be effective immediately, Sears Spokesman Howard Riefs said. "Positions in various business units and roles across the organization" are part of the latest layoff announcement, he said.

Leaders in Hoffman Estates were notified of the cuts Wednesday. Hoffman Estates Village Manager Jim Norris said the village was told that about 150 of the workers were being cut from the suburban office campus.

The company further told the village the employee number on the campus would remain above the 4,250 threshold to receive property tax benefits through the village's Economic Development Area authorized by the state.

At no time has Sears Holdings claimed to have fallen below that threshold, which the village asks the company to certify each fall, Norris said.

The company would not say how many people are employed in Hoffman Estates. "We're not sharing a specific figure," Riefs said.

The announcement is yet another blow for Sears, which has been shuttering stores and selling off assets to bump up its financial numbers in the midst of sliding sales. And Sears has borrowed money from its biggest investor, Edward Lampert, a billionaire hedge fund manager who also serves as Sears' chief executive officer.

"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," Riefs said.

Earlier in January, the retailer, facing increased competition from Amazon and Walmart, said it was closing more than 100 locations under the Sears and Kmart names. That includes 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores that will be shuttered between early March and early April.

That's in addition to closing about 250 stores announced last year.

• Daily Herald staff writer Eric Peterson contributed to this report.

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