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Sears Cuts 250 Employees as 100 More Doors Could Close

The new Sears and Kmart operation now under Transform Holdco ownership, is still trying to right the ship at both the corporate and store levels.

The company last week filed a notice to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity indicating that it plans a workforce reduction over a two-week period beginning Oct. 28 for staff at its corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The notice said the reductions are expected to be permanent and that there are no plans to close company headquarters.

Roughly 250 employees have already been laid off in the reduction.

According to Larry Costello, Transform’s public relations director, “The filing referenced refers to actions that were taken last week. There is no additional action planned for October.”

Costello declined to comment on rumblings over additional store closures.

In August, Transform said it would shutter 26 stores–21 Sears doors and five Kmart locations–in September. However, local media reports have noted additional stores shuttering in their communities, most of which will close by the end of December. Thelayoff.com began a Sears thread, and postings, if accurate, suggest the number of store closures could amount to another 100 doors.

When Transform last month announced the 26 doors it planned to close, the company noted that more store closings were a possibility. More specifically, Transform said it would continue to evaluate its store base, noting that the goal was to bring the company back to profitability.

Transform Holdco, also referred to as Transformco, is run by ESL Investments chief Edward Lampert. Lampert was Sears’ largest shareholder and creditor when the company filed its voluntary Chapter 11 petition last October. Lampert and ESL bailed Kmart Corp. out of bankruptcy in 2003, and then he engineered the merger of Kmart Holdings Corp. with Sears, Roebuck & Co. a year later. The $11 billion deal was completed in 2005, and the combined company was known as Sears Holdings Corp. Lampert did another bailout in February when he got the nod from a Manhattan bankruptcy court judge to acquire Sears Holdings in a deal valued at $5.2 billion.