OPERATIONS

Sears Cuts 200 HQ Jobs

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill. Sears Holdings Corp., which owns the Kmart and Sears retail chains, has announced it is cutting about 200 headquarters jobs as chairman Edward Lampert tries to bring its overhead costs in line with falling sales.

The 200 jobs, which are in support functions, represent about 4% of Sears’ 5,000 headquarters employees, said Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite. He declined to be more specific.

The retailer notified employees of the pending cuts in a memo Tuesday from interim CEO W. Bruce Johnson.

The job cuts come as Lampert looks for a way to turn around the company created when he engineered Kmart Holding Corp.’s purchase of Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 2005. Late last month, Sears unveiled a restructuring that divides the company into a five independently run businesses. 

Support is one of the five business areas being created under the new structure. While Brathwaite declined to disclose the support functions targeted in the cuts, Sears described the new support unit as housing such functions as marketing, store operations, customer strategy and finance.

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OPERATIONS

Sheetz Names New VP

BY CSA STAFF

Altoona, Pa. Sheetz Inc. named Stephanie Hoover as its new VP of human resources. She will take over for Phil Freeman, who is stepping down after 19 years of service.

Hoover, a seven-year veteran at Sheetz, joined the company as manager of human resources for CLI Transport, Sheetz’s dedicated fuel carrier.

Freeman began his career with Sheetz in 1988 as corporate controller in the finance department. He is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

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Starbucks to Hold Teach-In for Baristas

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle , Wa. Starbucks Corp. will close the doors at nearly 7,100 of its U.S. coffee shops for three hours one night later this month to give baristas a refresher course on espresso standards. The move comes as the chain has seen traffic in its domestic stores drop amid a faltering economy and growing competition from cheaper rivals.

In a statement Monday night, Starbucks chairman and chief executive Howard Schultz said the new training effort highlights the company’s push to “renew its focus on the customer.”

The teach-in is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 26, and stores will reopen for business three hours later.

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