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2014-01-30 at 10:42

Sears cutbacks hit Thunder Bay store

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By tbnewswatch.com

The major cutbacks that hit Sears Canada locations nationwide have made their way to Thunder Bay.

The company on Tuesday issued a release, saying it is modifying its store structure by eliminating mid-tier management staff.

A total of 624 employees were laid off across Canada, and unconfirmed reports say six of those layoffs were at the Thunder Bay store.

Sears spokesperson Alicia Richler said the restructuring will lead to a more efficient system for serving customers.

There have been longstanding rumours about possible store closures, but Richler said the streamlining will allow them to keep all their existing stores open.

Tbnewswatch.com(32)

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Dockboy says:
The Thunder Bay store got off easy. Most of the time you can hear a pin drop walking through that store.
1/30/2014 10:53:09 AM
conker2012 says:
Sears is just the next step up from Walmart or Target, but are priced as if they are selling top notch product.

I don't like sears because they sell crap, have terrible customer service and their products that are worth purchasing are only inline with the rest of the market when they are on sale. Time for Sears to go. I'd rather see The Bay, Macy's or some other department store that has customer service and products worth the price.
1/30/2014 10:58:21 AM
S Duncan says:
Sears used to be the exact opposite of what you describe. They had great customer service and better than average quality items.

It seems they decided to pursue the Wal-Mart cheaper is better policy. (Hey it works for Walmart ) but then I think Sears found itself competing in a flooded market.

I remember the candy counter at sears, the restaurant, the sporting goods with fishing tackle and outboard motors, and the automotive service department, all of which you as a customer were treated almost like royalty.

They abandoned all that and then the best thing they had going, went cheap too. That's the craftsman line of tools. The service faltered there and before you know it so did the stock.

Its sad to see whats happening, but its been happening for so long its disappointing. I loved Sears as they used to be, but they aint what they used to be. Now I cant remember the last time I needed to go in there for any reason.
1/30/2014 11:39:11 AM
fastball says:
The place will be shuttered up in 5 or ten years. Sears (and Eatons) are victims of their own complacency - as they were seemingly content in their perceived place in the Canadian marketplace, and their failure to remain relevant in today's market.
It's a sad rule of business - if you're standing still - you're falling behind.
1/30/2014 11:53:34 AM
unknowncronik says:
too bad kids today don't get to experience the candy counter at sears....those were the good ole days... and the sears auto centre was kitty corner to shoppers drugmart across from McIntyre centre. pushing back many a year on this one!!
o well, bye bye to the old Simpson Sears...
1/30/2014 12:04:58 PM
sky high says:
S Duncan....ma and pop shops went out of style a long time ago. If they'd stayed the way you describe, they would have closed down a long time ago. By going with the flow they survived an extra 15 or so years. Don't know what you do, but you sure ain't no entrepreneur.
1/30/2014 9:30:06 PM
musicferret says:
The Sears at Intercity will close in the next year or two. Its far too expensive to keep a place like that open where few are buying.
1/30/2014 11:57:23 AM
Common cents says:
Thank you Mayor Hobbs

Walmart prices walmart wages

1/30/2014 8:58:20 PM
TBDR says:
Are you drunk? Is the mayor to blame for business life cycle? Clearly you've never taken business or economics.
1/31/2014 1:46:55 PM
whatelseisnew says:
If Sears is open still in 2015 I will be beyond shocked. What's happening with that company is like watching Eaton's all over again. If that store ends up closing I seriously doubt Nordstrom's or The Bay would even consider coming to Thunder Bay to fill the void in the mall. Due to a town that 80% of people are in poverty only working minimum wage or on some sort of government assistance, Thunder Bay is a Wal-mart town...which is sad. Long are the days of middle-class families and department stores, now it's Target, Wal-Mart and Dollar-ramma.
1/30/2014 12:08:13 PM
CM Punk says:
No surprise here.
Actually surprised it took this long for this store here to feel the pinch that Sears is feeling overall.

Nobody goes to Sears to buy clothes, electronics or bedding. There is lots of competition out there.
Their tool brand of craftsman was good maybe 20 years ago but no more. Its all made in China garbage.

Customer Service as others have said previous does suck big time. But I am still a fan of their kitchen appliances. Never had any issues with any of them.

Perhaps the mall will get a Nordstrom or Marshal's from the US.
1/30/2014 12:47:19 PM
The Beaver..... says:
conker2012 says too bad that you don't appreciate Sears.. I do its still a nice store in which to shop. For you the down side is that you have to find somebody else to belittle. You must surely be a Walmartian.
1/30/2014 12:47:34 PM
conker2012 says:
Actually complete opposite, I have not problem buying a $150 dress shirt if I am getting a $150 dress shirt. I look for value in what I purchase and each person has a different sense of value.

For some it is whatever they can get for the lowest price, for others it is the best quality for the dollar and others it is the environmental impact of a product just to name a few. For me I like I find value in service from the staff, and equally as important I look for the quality depending on how i expect the product to perform when I use it.

An example would be trash bags, if you by glad bags or generic grocery store bags for general trash disposal there is no difference in how they perform, but if i have to dispose of something heavy or messy I will go out for the brand name extra heavy bags that the generic company does not make.
1/30/2014 2:29:59 PM
advocate says:
Its service cannot get any worse.
1/30/2014 12:52:50 PM
S Duncan says:
Ive still had good service there in recent years but I think when the salespeople got paid on commission or piecework. Now I believe they are a min wage operation(???)

Sales people used to make a successful and well paid career at Sears if they put in the effort and they tried harder to earn your business.

and yes, those kids today that never experienced the candy counter sure missed out! I can still picture the little paper bag with chocolate rosebuds or macaroons in it. Not to mention the candy sticks.
1/30/2014 2:00:31 PM
advocate says:
it is not the younger people I had issue with (well, I am not sure I had a younger person attend to me there).
1/30/2014 3:50:10 PM
sweetazmaple says:
the sears stores in eatons centre and yorkdale mall is closing march 9th... a nordstroms is going in there

be lucky you all still have jobs there
1/30/2014 2:29:13 PM
MasterDebater says:
I would trade Sears in this city for a Costco in a heartbeat. Sears days are numbered
1/30/2014 3:12:09 PM
Wolfie says:
Hopefully something higher end like The Bay will eventually go in there. We already have enough low end stores in this town. Sears going downmarket just made them an also-ran.
1/30/2014 3:12:23 PM
hadenough says:
I believe the parent company of Sears is "The Bay" so if Sears goes, it would be doubtful that The Bay would move in.
1/30/2014 4:12:20 PM
Wolfie says:
No, they are not related.
1/30/2014 4:35:46 PM
hadenough says:
I checked, you're correct. Thanks
1/30/2014 8:29:57 PM
Eastender says:
Less employees? Better service? What?
1/30/2014 6:56:59 PM
hotchoc says:
Many valid points but part of it is, people will rush to Walmart, or the border and will not shop sears. I have purchased beds and appliances there in the past 5 years. Great service. Good products.

Tools are every bit as good as Mastercraft given that they are likely made in China where everything is.

But looking at it with a more global perspective, Sears was a box store. It was an American company and profits left our city.

if they succeed or fail will likely not impact our city in any great degree but it might impact the mall if no one fills the spots.

They need to modernize and attract although for reasonably priced men's clothes they still have some decent stuff.
1/30/2014 7:00:45 PM
yqtyqt says:
Well I hate to admit that hotchoc actually makes sense today. I agree with the comments about Walmart and cross border shopping. While I understand that this may reflect on the local walmart employees and their ability to work, the profits do fly south of the border.

I have nothing good to say about Cdn citizens who flock to the US and come back with carloads full of "so-called bargains",while local merchants are starving & struggling under the weight of govt taxes, red tape & regulations. Our local merchants pay cdn taxes at all levels, they employee local citizens & pay their portion of cpp & ei. Some of your neighbours or relatives may work there.

But stand in line at the border and talk to the people who you meet. Government employees, Bombardier employees, and union guys. All the people who do the most whining about cdn wages, benefits, and entitlements.

Shame on these well fed workers for killing the Canadian economy. I wish them the same fate as our local merchants.
1/31/2014 8:51:24 AM
unheard says:
Sears is awesome they stand behind their products and fix them
to whereas walmart and such just replace your crappy product for the same crappy product
it is a shame
1/30/2014 9:25:23 PM
jaxoon says:
I think you are partially correct.
Just need to change some words in your first sentence. Change "is" to "was" & "stand" to "stood". Oh and add "used to" prior to "fix".
2/1/2014 10:25:34 AM
The Beaver..... says:
The worst of them all to deal with is The Brick try to get a warranty resolved there. Nearly impossible
1/31/2014 8:36:01 AM
dockboy says:
It's really too bad to see them in the state their in. The store is clean, merchandise is nicely displayed and staff are friendly. Walmart on the other hand is filthy and merchandise is just strewn about.
1/31/2014 8:44:08 AM
ibrando says:
The real focus should be on the human cost. These were members of our community. These people reported to work each and every day and by carrying out their duties to the best of their ability had reason to believe they would have a job to go to the next day. Imagine the feeling of showing up to work and being told you are no longer an employee, not because of your work ethic but because of a corporate decision to cut costs in an attempt to save a sinking ship. I sincerely hope all affected can find a way to get by until they find an opportunity to work elsewhere. Best of luck.
1/31/2014 11:21:28 AM
The Beaver..... says:
I was once told by a bunch of woman that used to run across the boarder to shop at Target because the quality sold there is so much better then anything you can get here. I guess that elusion sort of went out the window. Sears is still the biggest appliance seller in all of North America Sears bedding products are still tops and warranty service is still the best..no butts no if's
1/31/2014 12:30:06 PM
alrightythen says:
They canned 8 people here in Thunder Bay, some that have been employed with Sears for years. Now they are hiring new staff. The person in charge needs a reality check lemme tell ya that
1/31/2014 10:50:44 PM
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