By Danielle Wiener-Bronner
Sears is eliminating about 200 jobs, including 150 in its Illinois headquarters.
The embattled company’s CEO, Eddie Lampert, announced the changes in a June 26 letter to employees. CNBC first reported the layoffs earlier Wednesday.
“Your leadership team and I want you to know that these decisions were not taken lightly or easily,” Lampert wrote.
The layoffs were effective immediately, with severance provided through August 25. Sears already laid off about 220 people from from its corporate offices earlier this year.
The cuts come as the once-iconic retailer struggles to stay afloat.
“Changes like these are a necessary part of creating a stronger organization in this time of industry disruption,” Lampert wrote in the June letter.
Sears has lost $11.2 billion since 2010, its last profitable year. Sales have plunged 60% in that time. Sears Holdings, which operates both the Kmart and Sears brands, had a total of 3,500 US stores when it merged the two brands in 2005. Now it has fewer than 1,000.
The company said it employs about 89,000 full- and part-time workers in the United States and US territories as of early February.
Many of the remaining Sears and Kmart stores are no longer even owned by Sears. Starved for cash, the holding company has sold much of its real estate and leased back the properties where it still operates stores.
The last Sears in Chicago is closing on Sunday.
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