Sears Canada to Cut 1,600 Jobs As It Outsources, Restructures

Another round of job cuts is happening at Sears Canada Inc. as the company looks for ways to reduce costs and improve its overall business as part of a three-year turnaround plan. The company announced it would lay off about 1,600 employees in Canada, after trimming another 1,800 jobs just months ago.

The news from Sears Canada Inc. includes more than 1,300 call-center employees and 283 employees from four Sears distribution centers in Calgary, Montreal, and Belleville and Vaughan, Ont.. The call-center jobs will be outsourced to the Philippines. Sears says it has struck a deal with IBM to "externally reassign" call-center work. The company's call centers handle catalog orders, gift registry and parts and repair services.

The news comes just days after Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD), the department store retailer's U.S. parent company, reported a steep 7.4 percent plunge in sales during the fourth quarter. The company also said that sales at its Canadian stores dropped 4.4 percent in the busy holiday sales period between Nov. 3 and Jan. 6.

Sears Canada operates 181 corporate stores, along with 241 Hometown stores and more than 1,400 catalog and online merchandise pickup locations. The retailer has closed about 300 U.S. stores since 2010, tightly managing inventory and selling real estate. The Canadian unit has also been shedding assets as it tries to revive stagnant business. In 2008, Sears Canada closed its Hamilton, laying off about 140 mainly part-time staff. A year later it shuttered the Regina office, laying off 250 people.

For more see:
-this Sears Holdings Corp. press release
-this FierceRetailIT article

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