Sears lays off 200 more employeesJuly 11, 2018 11:08pm

July 11--Sears Holdings Corp. laid off 200 corporate employees last month, following a round of 220 job cuts earlier this year.

About 150 of the employees affected in the latest round of job cuts worked at the company's Hoffman Estates support center, Sears spokesman Howard Riefs said Wednesday in an email.

The layoffs went into effect June 26 and included employees across various business units and roles, Riefs said.

"As we work to advance our strategic transformation, we all know that we must return the company to profitability in order to retain the confidence of our constituents. This means continuing to look at ways to streamline our operations while staying focused on our Best Members, Best Categories and Best Stores," Sears Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert said June 26 in a letter to employees.

Sears declined Wednesday to say how many people remain employed at its Hoffman Estates headquarters. The company told the Tribune last year that after a round of layoffs it had fallen below the minimum of 4,250 employees in Hoffman Estates and its Loop satellite office needed to secure state tax breaks.

In his June letter, Lampert said the changes "didn't impact a large percentage of our workforce" and that the employees were offered severance and outplacement assistance.

Since May, Sears has announced plans to close 78 more unprofitable stores after another quarter of losses and slowing sales. The latest round of store cuts comes on top of 303 Kmart and 123 Sears stores that closed in the year leading up to Feb. 3, a period during which the company also shed more than 50,000 jobs. Sears Holdings Corp. had 529 Sears stores and 365 Kmart stores as of May 5.

lzumbach@chicagotribune.com

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