Human Capital & Careers

Sears Plans Headquarters Layoffs

Report says company also contemplating cutting salaries and benefits.
Stephen TaubApril 4, 2005

Sears Holding Corp., the company that resulted from the union of Sears, Roebuck and Kmart Holding, is planning “mass layoffs,” according to the Associated Press.

Actually, the layoffs, while painful, won’t be all that sizeable. “Mass layoffs” is an official term in Illinois, which defines a mass layoff as at least 250 full-time employees or at least 25 workers if they make up at least one-third of the employer’s work force. Under a 2004 state law, employers with at least 75 full-time workers must give 60 days notice to workers and the state of mass layoffs or a plant closing.

Thus, the third largest retailer in the U.S. had little choice but to file a report with the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity saying that it is planning a “mass layoff” of 250 workers at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., outside of Chicago, according to the AP.

The retailer, however, has 5,000 people working at the headquarters, the AP noted. Most of them figure to keep their jobs.

The wire service said Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite wouldn’t comment on the filing and said the company hasn’t even decided how many people to cut loose.

Braithwaite, though, did confirm a report in the Detroit Free Press that Sears is mulling pay and benefit cuts to its work force, according to the wire service. Most of the benefits changes will take place as early as 2006, the AP added.