Sears Canada cuts 300 jobs, sees "tough" 2009

Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:34am EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Sears Canada said on Friday that it cut about 300 workers across the country as the large retailer struggles with falling consumer confidence and braces for weaker sales.

Canada's second-biggest department store chain, which is majority owned by Sears Holding Corp, said half of the layoffs would be in its Toronto headquarters with the remainder in its repair services across the country.

The 300 jobs represent less than 1 percent of the company's total workforce of 35,000 people.

"It's public knowledge that 2009 looks like it is going to be a tough year in a tough economic climate and we are just preparing for that," said Sears Canada spokesman Vince Power.

The company is set announce its quarterly results on February 25

Sears Canada shares were up 1.1 percent at C$19.47 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Earlier this month, privately held department store chain Hudson's Bay Co. cut 1,000 jobs as it looked to slash costs amid the economic downturn.

HBC said the cuts represent about 5 percent of its overall, full-time workforce and, when combined with other cost-cutting moves, should lead to annual savings of C$150 million ($118.9 million) in 2009.

($1=$1.26 Canadian)

(Reporting by Scott Anderson; editing by Rob Wilson)