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Local jobs lost in latest Sears cuts

Thursday, January 30, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Sears Canada announced Wednesday that the retailer has slashed 624 jobs from its 181 corporate stores across the country.

Those cuts take effect immediately, and include five jobs at the local Sears store in Station Mall.

Those who work on the floor in middle management (department heads) at the local Sears store in Station Mall and at Sears stores nationwide are the latest to bear the brunt of ongoing corporate restructuring by the retailer.

Sears Canada Corporate Communications spokesperson Alicia Richler told early Wednesday evening: “All of our department stores across the country would have been affected today (Wednesday January 29).”

“(The people who lost their jobs) would have been mid-tier department leads,” Richler said.

“On average five associates per store would have been laid off, but I don’t have specific numbers for Sault Ste. Marie.”

A source told, however, that five employees in various departments were indeed laid off from the Sault outlet Wednesday.   

The local Sears store has about 140 employees, full-time and part-time.

Richler told us the latest corporate move means more responsibility for those department heads that are left.

“That person who is the menswear department manager may also now be the shoe department manager as well…a lot of the management may be taking on more departments that they oversee.”

When asked if the cuts were necessary because of the considerable dent online shopping has made in the retail sector, Richler said the cuts were made in order to make Sears operations “more streamlined and efficient.”

However, Richler said: “One of the major investments Sears is making this year is investment in online shopping at Sears.”

“There’s more to a successful business than just the traditional store (and) there will continue to be investment in Sears online business,” Richler added.

The full text of a news release from Sears Canada Inc. follows

TORONTO - Sears Canada Inc. (TSX: SCC) announced today that it is modifying its store structure to improve efficiency and increase the effectiveness of the chain of communication between management and the store associate teams within the stores.

The Company will eliminate primarily a mid-tier level of leads within its full-line stores, resulting in an average reduction of five associates per store.

There will also be an alignment of the regional and head office structures to reflect the new store model, and also to improve efficiency in Sears other formats and to align with the size of the business.

This will result in a staff reduction of 624 associates.

"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," said Doug Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sears Canada Inc.

"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. We continue to plan for the future of Sears Canada and are taking steps today that will allow us to continue serving customers as a viable national retailer coast to coast in stores and through our Direct channel now and in the future."

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes 181 corporate stores, 241 Hometown stores, over 1,400 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 101 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide repair and service network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at

Although the Company believes that the forward-looking information presented with respect to its staffing initiative is reasonable, such forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information, and undue reliance should not be placed on such information.

The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof.

The Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.


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pokey 1/30/2014 9:44:02 AM Report

You rarely see the big money CEO's take a pay cut so someone whom makes minimum wage keep food on their table.
25miller 1/30/2014 9:52:19 AM Report

How many lost their jobs after they closed the building on White Oak Drive?
Right Winger 1/30/2014 9:56:29 AM Report

The CEO of Sears Canada made $1,061,658 last year. Sears employs 30,000 associates. Not sure if this number includes head office trucking and service. But lets say it does. If he took a salary of $0.00 that would amount to $35.00 more per person.

Nice try making the CEO's wages an issue.
KBO 1/30/2014 10:01:06 AM Report

Not the first time the have done this. Many lay offs years ago. Switched staff from full time to part time and stripped them of their benefits. Not a place I shop unless I have to.
crashed13 1/30/2014 10:01:49 AM Report

They already cut back awhile ago.

We bought a 55" 3d smart TV off them for $1300 on last year.
The next morning I went to pick it up at 930am and was told the pick-up department does not open up until noon due to staff cuts and to come back later.
I said just give me my $1300 back+ tax and do not bother.
They sent a person down and open the shipping department early for me instead.
Pay for a object up front and then be told they will give you that object you bought when its convenient for them?
Sears is in trouble.
Right Winger 1/30/2014 10:07:11 AM Report


Ya you showed them. Now 5 people are out of work. Instead of blaming the CEO blame all those running across the bridge to Walmart and Weirs.
Archie 1/30/2014 10:07:44 AM Report

Sears just lost another customer after I read this.
Were these people laid off immediately and with no prior notice?

TOOLY 1/30/2014 10:09:21 AM Report

Just a matter of time, way too many bonuses, short sited thinking and no real planning for the future.
Just like the post office!! Working for this company I can say first hand they did nothing to improve moral,as a matter of fact anything to reduce it.
I feel very sad for the people left to face what's left of their careers in that company.
I predict within 4 to 5 years Sears will no longer be.
Signed sad ex-employee..
BlackHelix 1/30/2014 10:11:02 AM Report

So you threw a temper tantrum and had the staff go out of their way all because you couldn't wait 3 hours for a TV?

Right Winger 1/30/2014 10:23:10 AM Report

Archie, now if everyone had that attitude the rest of the people will be out of work. Good logic.
Wild Turkey 1/30/2014 10:23:54 AM Report

@Crashed--You should have stuck with plan A and took the money and run.
Same advice to those "Associates" that are leaving.Invest your severance wisely and you will be fineBetter to get something now.Five years from now the survivors will get nothing.
@Archie---it was right out of the blue--just like they always do it.
curiously looking 1/30/2014 10:24:57 AM Report

Black helix....i think you missed her or his point, but thanks for you sarcasm ?????
crashed13 1/30/2014 10:37:22 AM Report

@ Black
"So you threw a temper tantrum and had the staff go out of their way all because you couldn't wait 3 hours for a TV?

I had to go to work in a half hour, I was there ,they where open ,the TV was paid for , case close.

I bough another big screen TV at Future Shop and they instantly had a young guy carry it out to the Van.
It went as smooth as buying a case of beer at the beer store.

I give you money ,you give me the stuff and we part ways.
How hard is that?
Bill_the_Cat 1/30/2014 10:42:54 AM Report

archie: why would middle management get prior notice? It is customary in some companies to be let go, and walked out the door by security.
Bill_the_Cat 1/30/2014 10:43:53 AM Report

I thought all the White Oak Dr repair facilities were moving to the main Sears building.

Rumours perhaps.

icemantbi 1/30/2014 10:44:53 AM Report

Not surprised. This is the beginning of the end for Sears. It won't be long until Sears as a company will be out of business. I haven't shopped there in years, everything is overpriced there.

On the other hand, once it does eventually close, maybe everyone will get their wish with a Target store.
Wicket 1/30/2014 10:47:55 AM Report

Really! Yes, Sears is in trouble - wonder why - Answer: WalMart. We do more shopping at Sears than WalMart and will be going out of town to find stores that carry better quality than WalMart if Sears does not survive. I prefer one stop shopping in a quality department store and don't tell me that Sears isn't quality; it certainly is compared to WalMart where I very rarely buy anything.
Bill_the_Cat 1/30/2014 10:56:12 AM Report

Sears can be dodgy. Tried to buy Mrs BtC something a few months ago. Brick and mortar wouldn't match their own online price--same item. Strange.
huggie 1/30/2014 11:16:15 AM Report

You were lucky to find someone to sell you a television.L.O.L
eadiecougs 1/30/2014 11:36:01 AM Report

Watch that show America's death by China it will open up your eyes.Walmart has destroyed north america.The factories once were strong are now gone.The governments sold us out.
Right Winger 1/30/2014 11:41:51 AM Report

And now minimum wage is $11.00. That should stir some job creation.
eadiecougs 1/30/2014 11:54:44 AM Report

ya 11 bucks now I can go by that new house .I feel sorry for the young kids nowadays they will earn less then their parents.The city is losing rail service and their is no plan for the future but the mayor writes letters to Olg to keep the boss here .I feel sorry for her she dont have a prayer to make sault ste marie move ahead.
Pakadeva 1/30/2014 12:05:00 PM Report

I'm with crashed, you pay for an item, you don't wait for 3 hours to actually "get" the item! That's absurd. How do they expect their sales to increase, or even survive with that method of business? Give me my item, or offer FREE delivery at least!
Just Curious 1/30/2014 12:32:06 PM Report

@ Bill the Cat; You just reminded me of an incident in my younger days.. I was working at the Ford plant in St Thomas and got fed up with the place so I told my foreman where to go and how to get there and stormed out.. Got to the guardhouse at the gate and was escorted back to my job site by security to get a letter from my foreman allowing me to leave before end of shift.. It was an awkward moment, to say the least, but kinda funny when you look at it years later...:)
Lovethenorth 1/30/2014 12:56:28 PM Report

I knew Sears was dead when they changed their return policy to 30 days PERIOD. You can't even do an exchange after 30 days unless you used Sears credit card, which most people don't. I ordered son in BC an item from Sears for Christmas, it was wrong type, he tried to return it in BC, they wouldn't even exchange it, made him mail it back to me here in the Sault, by the time it go back here the 30 days was up and they wouldn't take it back.

I took it to Walmart without a receipt and got a $70 store credit. Where do YOU think I should be shopping---Sears or Walmart? I am not shedding any tears over Sears at the moment.
buddyjewel 1/30/2014 1:18:15 PM Report

Here we go again!
Don't blame cross border shopping. The problems go deeper than that!
Lone24 1/30/2014 1:25:26 PM Report

I don't blame people for going across the river or to Walmart to shop. Sears prices are a bit to high anyways. Anyone in their right mind would want to pay less unless your the kind where you have more money ,than brains.
dust2 1/30/2014 1:25:50 PM Report

this issue isn't a result of cross border shopping, but it's foolish to think it doesn't affect other businesses in the Soo

keep saving a dollar on milk to watch your town fall apart
willoweep 1/30/2014 1:30:21 PM Report

Crashed if you bought the TV the day before why didn't you take it then? Not convenient for you? Oh well you showed em take it out on People who have nothing to do with store hours .

I agree with the poster who says Wal-mart is destroying our retail options.

Take a look at the label on their "George " line of clothing ,it's all made in Bangladesh.

I had put a few things in my shopping cart when I noticed that ,I didn't bother or blame anyone working there I was putting them back when a Clerk ( a rare find at our Wal-Mart) asked if she could help me .

I told her "No I just didn't want the items because they were made in Bangladesh" ,she said "We dont get many complaints about the merchandise".

I said " Well maybe if there was a mural of a factory in Bangladesh they might have second thoughts."

Right Winger if the Ceo would take a salary cut of say 100,000 they could possibly have three People keep their jobs .It's not about dividing it among the employees?

Archie maybe you should refuse all Mail service from now on as well ,because the employees found out about the massive changes after we all knew.

They got a brief memo at the end of the day saying basically ,"If you want to know whats going on go to this website "It was the same information clip we all saw.

And while .75 cents won't make a hell of a lot of difference to anyone it offers a little hope ,after taxes they should realize a $20 a week difference on a 40 Hr week .

I know its really going to hurt small Buisness who are eventually going to have to lay of Workers,or put up Prices ,no way they can compete with the huge Monster that is Wal-Mart.

And yes I DO shop at Walmart when I have to (financially)

I don't have any answers but it would be hoped our Government might have a clue .

They need to take back Canada!

Right Winger 1/30/2014 1:40:57 PM Report


Which 3 people of the 600 plus? Who decides?

Now 3 people keep their jobs while over 600 lose theirs and the CEO gives up 100 grand. Ya, makes sense alright. How did I not see that?
willoweep 1/30/2014 1:58:45 PM Report

Right Winger so your saying if we can't fix the whole problem don't do anything?

Who decides? put the names in a Hat draw three, would do a great deal for the moral of the rest, just to know the Ceo was with them not just in thought but in action ,just a gesture not a cure .

Or how about we keep 6 part time workers?

I KNOW it won't fix the problem.

I already said I don't have the answers,If you do, I and perhaps the rest of Canada , would love to hear them.
Right Winger 1/30/2014 2:10:50 PM Report

The government has to stop raising the cost of doing business in Canada.

Public Service Unions can't keep drawing from a perceived bottomless pit of money.

Just to start.
Right Winger 1/30/2014 2:13:32 PM Report

If those working in manufacturing care and I mean really care about their neighbours take pay cuts and concessions so more attractive to manufacture here.
dust2 1/30/2014 2:17:06 PM Report

people shop in the USA to save a dollar on milk, you think those people are going to take paycuts?
highway1 1/30/2014 2:25:45 PM Report

People will stop saving money by shopping across when they have better paying jobs.
Don't blame people for stretching the dollar.
Wild Turkey 1/30/2014 2:54:58 PM Report

Sears has been part of Station Mall since it opened in 1973.Since then, the Downtown has deteriorated significantly.Do we blame Sears ,or the Mall?
Cross border shopping is not something new.People have been going across for ages, even before we had a bridge.
Wal-Mart has only been on our side for 10 years.Were it not for their two stores on our side, there would be about 400 less jobs here in The Soo.
Also all that business from the last 10 years would have gone over the river.
Take back Canada?Sears is American owned,as is Walmart.
Our E.D.C., or somebody should be after Hudson's Bay to locate here,to fill the niche that will soon be vacated by Sears.Hudson's Bay is a Canadian Co. again.
huggie 1/30/2014 3:16:24 PM Report

Well said Wild Turkey
willoweep 1/30/2014 3:34:26 PM Report

I have been trying to research who actually owns Sears and Wal-mart and from what I can gather Canada has stakes in both Company.

Some where in that jumble the Hudson Bay company is already affiliated with Sears.

At any rate the Mall's location is what influenced the decline of the Down town ,in my opinion.

And I like everyone else though wanting to support my Country will buy where I get the best value for my dollar.

I have never shopped across the River but I can see it happening soon .
mosquitos 1/30/2014 4:20:15 PM Report

WalMart vacuums up some more.
D0BBER 1/30/2014 4:56:50 PM Report

The purchasing power of the consumer has never and will never have an effect on pricing ... that just isnt the way the world works, its foolish to even suggest the notion !! The Prices are adjusted to attract the consumer ... business knows this, the locals just prefer guilt trips to competitive pricing !!

You dont owe local business anything because they have done nothing to earn your business.
dust2 1/30/2014 5:01:37 PM Report

>"People will stop saving money by shopping across when they have better paying jobs."

>"You dont owe local business anything because they have done nothing to earn your business."

blame blame blame. want a better paying job? earn it.

it's no wonder you fools get no where and complain. you just want to shift the blame on anything but yourselves.
bello 1/30/2014 11:56:56 PM Report

Just for the record, and I've been reading al your posts. The most annoying thing said on here is that " you don't owe local business anything" maybe you don't but remember that when you want us to sponsor your kids hockey or soccer team, remember that when you come to us for door prizes for local fund raisers , remember that when you want your kid to have a summer job. You're right ,,you don't us anything. Next time you need anything, call walmart across the river to sponsor your kid.local merchants put back into the community. When was the last time you saw a walmart pee wee hockey team? Think about what your saying
judoka 2/1/2014 1:22:28 AM Report

From what I understand, the service department for Sears, is also going the way of being contracted out, as most of the employees were laid off. I guess no benefits, etc have to be paid, so that seems to be more attractive to them.
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