Five Prince Edward Island jobs affected by Sears Canada layoffs

The Canadian Press
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Sears store, Charlottetown

TORONTO — Sears Canada Inc. has announced a round of layoffs for the second time this month, eliminating 624 workers.

The struggling company said Wednesday the cuts will help improve communication and encourage more consistency within its operations.

Most of the reductions will be in middle management at Sears department stores, affecting an average of five employees per location, Sears Canada said in a release.

A Sears Canada representative told The Guardian five associates were laid off from mid-tier leadership positions at the Charlottetown location.

The company also said it will rework its regional and head office structure to reflect the latest changes and to align it with the smaller business.

Two weeks ago Sears Canada said about 1,600 positions would be affected as it moved ahead with plans to shutter its three Canadian call centres and reduce staff at its warehouses.

Sears Canada is trying to reduce costs and improve its overall business as part of a three-year turnaround plan. Last year, the company made a similar round of cuts that has lowered its overall employee count to around 20,000 people.

“The changes we are making in stores will not affect the number of front-line associates, and service to our customers will not be impacted,” president and CEO Doug Campbell said in a release.

“Our current structure results in inefficiencies and barriers to effective communication among store associates and the changes we are making are designed to result in better store execution and consistency of presentation and standards.”

Campbell added that the layoffs are part of a broader effort that will allow the company to continue serving customers countrywide.

Sears Canada has been dealing with heavy competition within the retail sector that appeared to intensify over the holiday shopping season.

Earlier this month, Sears Holdings Corp., the department store retailer’s U.S. parent, said sales at its Canadian stores dropped 4.4 per cent between Nov. 3 and Jan. 6.

Sears Canada has made an effort to shrink its operations by selling off leases for some of its most prominent locations and has been more aggressive in cutting the number of employees across its operations, from head office positions to customer service.

The retailer operates 181 corporate stores, 241 Hometown appliance stores, more than 1,400 merchandise pickup locations and 101 travel offices.

(With files from The Guardian)

Organizations: Sears Canada Inc., Sears Holdings

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, TORONTO, Charlottetown U.S.

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Recent comments

  • consumed
    January 31, 2014 - 05:07

    Truth be told, it's corporate greed ! Should have left well alone. I.E. (check out the Montague store). A first class example on how to run a retail store on P.E.I.. Good customer service , brings a good customer base. Period!

  • Can't believe the poor Management
    January 30, 2014 - 22:12

    Yes I was at Sears in Charlottetown today and found the stock just terrible but even worse I have never ever been able to check out of that sears in any reasonable time . Whats up ? do the supervisors even slightly care about customers or are they just zombies going through the motions and collecting a pay check . I have never seen a store more deserving of going bankrupt .

  • Was a SearsCostumer
    January 30, 2014 - 19:05

    I really don't think there is anything that Sears can do now to save it from the hole it is in. The loss of Sears outlets in the local communities was the final straw. I know it sounds harsh but most of the staff at the Sears store in Charlottetown are rude, argumentative, and not knowledgeable about their products. Nor do they care. My last 3 visits to that location left me fuming about how others customers were treated by staff. I work in a high level customer service positions and the behaviour of some staff at this store would never be tolerated. Another Canadian icon lost to someone trying to save a buck for shareholders.