Sears, Roebuck & Co. today unveiled plans to restructure its retail merchandising group, eliminate 24 regional offices and cut about 800 management positions in an effort to become more competitive.
The move is seen as a continuation of the restructuring plan announced last October, when the nation’s largest retailer said it would sell its 15-year-old Sears Tower, the world’s tallest building, and make other changes in an effort to revamp its image.
Sears said that effective Aug. 1, its regional administrative offices will be replaced by six new management units covering appliances and electronics, home fashions, home improvement, women’s apparel, men’s and children’s apparel and automotive products.
“Each of these businesses in Sears stores will report directly to a district manager for that distinct business, who will be accountable for customer service, sales and profits in 10 stores and report to a region manager for that business,” said Michael Bozic, chairman of Sears Merchandise Group.
The new field organization will have about 800 fewer management positions than the current 7,700, Sears said. Employees will be offered an incentive package that includes a salary continuation plan and early retirement benefits.
Bozic said a similar restructuring of a Sears headquarters organization is moving forward on a department-by-department basis.