Sears cutting jobs; key digital exec to leave
Sears Holdings is reducing headcount as part of its ongoing effort to deliver $1.25 billion in annualized cost reductions. It's also losing a key online executive.
Sears is eliminating some 400 full-time jobs at its corporate offices, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and from its support functions. In addition, certain positions at the chain's field operations will be impacted. The eliminated jobs represent less than half a percent of the 140,000 full-time and part-time employees Sears had as of the end of January.
In other news, Stephan Zoll, president of online, Sears Holdings, is stepping down from the company, effective June 15, Sears said Tuesday in a separate 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Stephan joined Sears in June 2016, coming from eBay Germany where he had served most recently served as VP of eBay Marketplaces.
As previously announced, Sears' strategic restructuring program is designed to deliver $1.25 billion in annualized cost reductions. To date, the retailer said it has made about $1 billion in annualized cost savings to date, and remains on track to meet its target.
"We are making progress with the fundamental restructuring of our operations that we initiated in February," said Edward S. Lampert, chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings. "We remain focused on realigning our business model in an evolving and highly competitive retail environment. This requires us to optimize our store footprint and operate as a leaner and simpler organization."
Last week, Sears confirmed that it planned to close 66 additional locations on top of the 180 planned closures it had announced earlier in the year.
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Robots, humans to staff online giant’s new fulfillment center
Amazon’s newest distribution center will use robotics to streamline operations.
The online giant plans to open its second Colorado fulfillment center in Thornton. This will be the first Amazon Robotics facility in the Centennial State.
The 855,000-sq.-ft.-plus center will employ more than 1,500 associates, who will oversee the picking, packing, and shipping smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and toys. The processes will be augmented by robotics technology created within Amazon Robotics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon.com. Among the solutions designed by the division include autonomous mobile robots, sophisticated control software, language perception, power management, computer vision, depth sensing, machine learning, object recognition, and semantic understanding of commands.
“We are excited to continue growing in Colorado with the new Amazon Robotics fulfillment center in Thornton,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s VP of North American operations. “This facility will utilize Amazon Robotics, vision systems, and more than 20 years’ worth of software and mechanical innovations.”
Amazon announced on Friday, June 9, that it will also use robotics in its facility in North Haven, Connecticut. Specifically, the technology will assist employees in fulfilling customer orders, according to the company.
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