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Sears Canada has announced its plans to lay off nearly 800 employees over the next six months, as well to shut down its central parts processing center in Belleville, Ontario, and 16 other stand-alone parts processing locations.
"The changes we are announcing today are being made to bring the structure of our organization in line with the size of our business," said president and CEO Doug Campbell, who was hired a few months ago after Calvin McDonald jumped ship for Sephora. "These improvements are initiatives we are implementing as part of the efficiency lever, one of the three levers we utilize along with the merchandising lever and network lever to maximize total value for the organization. While right-sizing is important for a more effective enterprise, our greatest opportunity lies within the merchandising lever, where our focus is on providing quality products and services that Canadians expect from Sears when and where they want them at prices that provide great value."
“Decisions that affect associates such as those which we announced today are not taken easily, and are made with great forethought and consideration," he added.
Of those affected, 712 will be in its repair services business and 79 will be at the head office in Toronto. In the stead of its repair technicians and support teams, the company will hire contracted technicians in mid-sized cities; for large cities, Sears technicians will be kept in place.
The Belleville, Ont. center will be consolidated into three fulfillment centers in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, according to the retailer.
The retailer has been steadily selling its store leases and shutting down key locations. A report in the New York Post on Monday alleged that Sears Holdings is considering the sale of Sears Canada, which the retailer denied.
In its most recent earnings report, Sears Canada posted a net loss of $48.8 million.