Sears Canada lays off 1600 – Outsources jobs to IBM

The bloodbath continues
Canadian retail icon Sears Canada is laying off another 1600 employees as it struggles with high operating costs, increased competition and unimpressed customers.

The staff cuts are far-reaching. Sears announced 1,345 people will be out of work at facilities in Montreal, Belleville,Toronto, Vaughan and Calgary. Another 283 are being let go in its logistics division.

Warehouse staff get hit
One location affected by the latest announcement is the Sears distribution warehouse located in Woodbridge (Vaughan).

“Ten positions will be affected,” said Ivy Karikari, human resources administrator for the Woodbridge operation. “The decision was not a surprise, and further layoffs will depend on the business situation,” she said.

Sears is not only liquidating its warehouse staff, the company is also trying to clean out its stock. In a bid to entice shoppers into the store, Sears Canada is offering huge discounts.

Sears Warehouse Sale
Sears Canada is trying to entice shoppers with huge discounts.
Photo: Andrew Scott Walker

The current two-week warehouse sale has prices slashed by up to 70 per cent.

At the Oakville location, the aisles were mostly empty on Thursday morning, despite the deals.

A staff member at the Oakville Place store said the location is profitable and jobs at the store are safe. The person asked to remain anonymous.

One Sears shopper, Martin Faherty of Mississauga, is doing his best to save jobs by taking advantage of the deals.

When asked about his feelings on the latest layoffs and outsourcing of Sears jobs, he had scathing words for Sears’ management team.

Mr. Faherty is not the only person who is upset by the job losses. People on Twitter are also voicing their frustrations.

Staff at IBM were unavailable for comment as to where the outsourced jobs will be located.

These cuts follow the November 2013 employee cull that affected 800 staff members at the company’s head office in Toronto as well as members of its service divisions.

Sears also announced a number of store closings in 2013, including the company’s long-standing Eaton Centre location, which will be taken over by Nordstrom.

Sears Canada has been battling Walmart for years, but the recent arrival of U.S. retail giant Target may be the nail in the coffin for one of Canada’s most iconic retailers.

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The Oakville Sun News Desk is responsible for the editorial content you see published on this site. The content is the work of Sheridan journalism students as they learn their skills and prepare for working in the field.

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