Sears Holdings Corp. on Tuesday said it would eliminate 400 full-time jobs, with most of the job cuts coming at its Hoffman Estates headquarters.
The announcement means Sears’ head count in Hoffman Estates has been cut by more than a third since 2011, when it employed 6,200 people at its headquarters and received a package of tax breaks after threatening to leave Illinois.
At the end of 2016, Sears reported having just three more employees than the 4,250 minimum it was required to maintain to be eligible for the tax credits, said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity spokeswoman Jacquelyn Reineke.
Sears has not received a payment this year and the state plans to review Sears’ records “to ensure taxpayers are not on the hook for an out-of-compliance agreement,” Reineke said. The company received $18.79 million in payments through the Economic Development for a Growing Economy program.
Company spokesman Howard Riefs declined to say how many employees work at its Hoffman Estates headquarters, but said the company had recently fallen below the 4,250 jobs it was required to maintain for the EDGE tax breaks.
While the majority of the 400 job cuts are in Hoffman Estates, some are in Sears’ field offices. Sears said it already eliminated open positions and reduced contract employees to lessen the impact of layoffs.
Also exiting Sears are three executives: Stephen Zoll, Sears’ president of online; David Pastrana, president of apparel; and Eric Jaffe, senior vice president of Sears’ Shop Your Way program.
The job cuts announced Tuesday come on top of the embattled retailer’s latest round of store closures. By early September, Sears will close 49 Kmart and 17 Sears stores, according to a source close to the company, after shuttering 150 in the first quarter of this year.
Along with other actions taken since the end of January, those changes have allowed the company to remove almost $1 billion from its cost structure. It expects those cost savings to grow to $1.25 billion by the end of January 2018.
“We are making progress with the fundamental restructuring of our operations that we initiated in February,” Lampert said in a news release. “We remain focused on realigning our business model in an evolving and highly competitive retail environment. This requires us to optimize our store footprint and operate as a leaner and simpler organization.”