It's Black Thursday in Canada after Sears layoff announcement

1,600 get pink slips with same-day Best Buy, Future Shop chops

It’s a Black Thursday for retail workers in Canada, with 1,600 of them getting layoff notices with their morning coffee.


Struggling Sears Canada will lay off 700 workers nationwide, it announced in a news release Thursday (January 31).

More than half of those affected work in department stores, with the rest coming from distribution centres and head office, spokesman Vince Power said in a statement.

About 200 of the job losses will be split between Belleville, Ontario, and Regina, Saskatchewan, distribution centres, with similar operations in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver also taking hits. Department stores across the country should see a couple of cuts each.

"The reductions are spread pretty well across the country, as far as geography is concerned," Power said in an email. He said that the layoffs were part of an "initiative to right-size the organization".

The announcement came the same day that Best Buy and Future Shop announced the closure of 15 stores in Canada, including one in Surrey, with the total loss of 900 jobs.

Sears Canada, through majority owner Sears Holding Corp., operates more than 460 corporate department and local dealer stores nationwide, as well as numerous pick-up locations and showrooms.

The company, which is in the middle of a three-year restructuring plan, has been fighting slumping revenue as well as an aggressive expansion of Canadian presence by Wal-Mart and Target stores.

Target Corporation, which took over Canadian store sites previously operated by Zellers Inc., plans to open 125 stores in 2013 starting in March, with 18 located in British Columbia, including one in Metropolis at Metrotown. The retail giant runs 1,764 stores in the U.S.

Wal-Mart Canada announced on January 22 that it would expand its presence in this country by the end of January 2014 to 388 stores from 379 and invest about $450 million in new and existing projects.

Sears announced in January 2012 that it was closing in-house restaurants, with a loss of 400 jobs, and 480 Sears call-centre jobs got outsourced to the Philippines in early 2009.

In 2012, Sears sold back major stores in Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa to landlord Cadillac Fairview Corp Ltd., and CFO Sharon Driscoll announced her surprise resignation the day before Christmas just past.

Comments (28) Add New Comment
-----------How about this one Canada---------------
I would have had my 30yrs offically April 2013. My position was managerial and yesterday I was brutally released due to restructure. I believed truly I did that this new CEO was going to make a change that the Sears I once worked for was coming back to its roots, where customers were Kings and associates were treated with uppermost respect. As in one of the above articles accountability is the catch fraise used by all, but this being said when they tell you let them make the mistakes while you are held accountable for them truly makes no sence you are held in a place where you are damned if you do , damned if you don't. When you cannot sleep without and pen and paper beside your bed because you abruptly woke up remembering something you forgot. When you have H.Q personal who will not return your calls and you need help, when you step up to the plate when a store manager leaves their position and cover while you wait for a new one, this is the thanks. My family and friends are furious and if people only knew the truth, they have placed in positions people who know nothing about the running of their business, I worked every area during my career, worked my way through the ranks, proved myself "Best of Breed" (a Sears in house term)in many areas and now for some ungodly reason I am not needed. Sears reminds me of the scene from Seinfeld where Elaine is dancing, the appendages have no idea what the other is doing. Those of you left behind take heed, there is no oarsmen rowing the boat only a captain standing on the deck pointing and yelling no over there!!!!!
A family friendly shopping experience, an appreciated associate ....hmmmm. Think Not
Rating: +4
i to was given the hook after 13 yrs. Being the sole provider for my family as my husband recovers from a illness. Where is the logic in the dismissals, your gone and the next day someone with 3mths. Experience takes your job. All I can say is that payback is a b@#%*. I'm sure there is something better for those people out there. Don't let your manager fool you either. It's usually their choice of who goes..
Rating: +3
Martin Dunphy
If anyone who lost their job with Sears in the most recent round of layoffs wishes to contact the Straight, in confidence, regarding the circumstances surrounding their loss of employment, please email myself at
Rating: +5
Jay Jones
Earth to BC located organizations: the Olympics ended several years ago.

Might be a good idea to lower your prices accordingly.

Rating: +3
Sears Canada had been a neglected child ever since mother Sears US took control. There are no appeals on clothings they sell and over priced too. Now it will get worse - competitions are coming. The new president who took over the rein from the unimaginative previous president is trying to turn the losing battle around. I hope his efforts will succeed for the sake of the thousands of employees. Never mind the management staff from the old regime. They don't really care about the situation of their employees. BTW, I work in Mtl. Distribution centre.
Rating: +4
maybe you can pick up an overpaid federal border guard job with many untaxeed under the table perks letting our "grateful" immigrants back into Canadar after shopping in Baline
Rating: +1
Lets us be truthful here a Hedge fund took over Sears Canada sold off all the real-estate, sucked ever cent it could out of the business and people are surprised it can not compete. It was never meant to complete but to driven to the ground. Sears will sell its remaining infrastructure to another US Retailer and run off with what profit is left.

Sears was purposely driven into the ground

Rating: +1
I read the news of these layoffs the other day. Hmmm
Right sizing??? Hmm sounds like code for get rid of people.
My very first reaction was to email the Sears HR and advise them (not that I think they will get it) that as a faithful sears customer for many years, I'm done.
I will purchase all of my washers, dryers, fridges, etc. from places other than Sears from this point forward.
I also heard something about them sending Canadian workers home and doing getting out of country workers to the work. am still looking on-line for this. If this is true, I will have 2 points that make my decision to never step a foot in any of their stores.

As far as the laid off people....keep your heard up and move forward. It sucks, but you all need to focus your energy on the positive. Some that read my post may say...what would I know.

am a Building Trades Steamfitter and know al about layoffs. When the job is done, it is done. Time to move on. It is not easy, but getting bitter and being negative only brings to you bitter and negative.

Turn it around and go positive. I wish each that were affected the very best as well as your families. There are no jobs for life any more. That is a basic reality.

If this company was losing money, why can they not look at the upper end and trim the fat.

my 3 cents..
Rating: +1


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