Kmart Lays Off More Employees, Turns Sales Floor Into Big Pile Of Boxes

Image courtesy of (Nicolas Eckhart)

The apparent inescapable death spiral of Sears continued last week when the retailer laid off an unspecified number of full-time employees from its Kmart stores.

Business Insider confirmed the layoffs, noting that the ousted employees were full-time managers or department heads in charge of driving, backrooms, and customer-facing services at stores across the country.

A spokesman for the company, who declined to say how many people were affected by the layoff, tells Business Insider that not all Kmart stores were affected by the cuts.

“Eliminating positions is never an easy decision to make, and we don’t take it lightly as we recognize the valuable contributions affected associates make to the company,” spokesman Howard Riefs said.

Citing two anonymous Kmart workers, Business Insider reports that nearly 800 stores were affected by the cuts.

Employees of the retailer note on message boards that many of the stores now have “skeletal” staff, and that the company has spun the layoffs as a way for it to simplify stores.

Under this process, the employees say the retailer will cease using backrooms and instead place items on the shelves.

According to Business Insider, some stores now just look like backrooms, with boxes littering the sales floor.

The layoffs are just the latest move Sears has made to keep the company afloat. This month alone, the company has sold its Craftsman brand of tools and borrowed (more) money from CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund.

Still, Business Insider reports that Fitch Ratings believes that Sears will likely run out of those funds during the 2017 fiscal year, requiring the company to raise another $2 billion in liquidity.

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