Business

Sears to lay off 325 workers in High Point

FILE- In this Nov. 9, 2012, photo, a Sears store is shown in Hialeah, Fla. Sears Holdings Corp. is announcing Thursday, April 21, 2016, that it will close 68 Kmart stores and 10 Sears stores as it struggles to restore profitability. The company also announced it is closing its call center in High Point.
FILE- In this Nov. 9, 2012, photo, a Sears store is shown in Hialeah, Fla. Sears Holdings Corp. is announcing Thursday, April 21, 2016, that it will close 68 Kmart stores and 10 Sears stores as it struggles to restore profitability. The company also announced it is closing its call center in High Point. AP

HIGH POINT – Sears Holdings will be closing its call center facility in High Point and laying off 325 workers starting in January 2017, according to a notice filed to the state Commerce Department.

The layoff’s at Sears Holdings’ 921 Eastchester Dr. location will begin on Jan. 2 and be completed by Feb. 10. The facility will permanently close on Feb. 24, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice, which companies must file when they make mass layoffs.

Among the positions being eliminated are 89 telephone sales advisors, 142 total protection agreement advisors, 21 resolution specialists, 16 customer advocates, 13 data entry clerks and many other people from various positions at the facility.

There is no union organization at the facility, and bumping rights do not exist.

“The work performed at the location will be transitioned to other Sears facilities between now and the anticipated closure date. The closure of this location is part of our strategy to optimize our call center operations to align with our forecasted call volumes,” a spokesman said in an email.

The company had announced in October that the center would be closing but did not say how many jobs would be affected.

Sears includes brands such as Sears, Kmart, Shop Your Way, Kenmore and Craftsman.

On Dec. 8, Sears Holdings reported a net loss of $748 million for its third quarter 2016 compared to a net loss of $454 million for the 2015 year same quarter. One can view the third quarter earnings presentation here.

“We remain fully committed to restoring profitability to our company and are taking actions such as reducing unprofitable stores, reducing space in stores we continue to operate (including through the Seritage lease arrangement), reducing investments in underperforming categories and improving gross margin performance and managing expenses relative to sales in key categories,” said CEO Edward Lampert in a statement.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism. The Observer contributed.

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