Sears Layoffs 2024 – Are they run out of business?

Are there Sears Layoffs? In 2019, Sears laid off many office workers, adding to their troubles after announcing more store closings. The layoffs affected employees in their main office in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and in San Francisco. About 300 people lost their jobs during that layoff round, and some learned in a group meeting. In San Francisco, around 24 workers were told they were losing their jobs in a forum. It was a tough time for Sears and its employees. 

Let’s explore Sears’s journey through layoffs!

It was a big layoff; they laid off many people. The company Transformco, which owns Sears and Kmart, confirmed it. They said it was tough but necessary because the business was facing challenges. They apologized to the employees. This happened after they had already laid off 250 people in September of the same year. Later, they announced more store closings—96 more Sears and Kmart stores. After these closures, only about 180 stores were left. It was a hard time for the company, and they felt sorry for the impact on the workers and their families.

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About Sears

Sears is a big store. It started way back in 1892 by two men named Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck. Later on, another man named Julius Rosenwald joined them. They began by sending out catalogues through the mail, and then they opened their first real store in 1925 in a place called Chicago.

In 2005, another big store called Kmart bought Sears. Together, they became Sears Holdings. Back in the 1980s, Sears was the biggest store in the whole country! But by 2018, it wasn’t as big anymore. Because of that, Sears had some money troubles and had to declare something called “bankruptcy.”

A Brief History Of Sears

Sears began when Richard Sears sold watches. He and Alvah Roebuck turned it into a big store in Chicago in 1887. They named it Sears, Roebuck, and Co., putting out catalogues with many items.

In 1895, facing money problems, Roebuck left, and Julius Rosenwald joined. They grew the company, going public in 1906. Sears became known for its catalogue of everything from clothes to toys.

They opened stores in Chicago starting in 1925. Sears changed the retail game with stores away from city centres, modern designs, and a focus on home and farm goods. The first Christmas catalogue came in 1933.

Sears thrived until the 1980s. Trying banking and credit cards didn’t work, and Walmart surpassed them. They sold parts of the company and stopped the catalogue in 1993.

In 2004, Kmart bought Sears, forming Sears Holdings. Despite efforts, Sears struggled. By 2010, they weren’t profitable. The number of stores fell, and losses increased. They tried new things and sold parts of the company but faced challenges.

In 2018, Sears considered selling Kenmore. The future looked uncertain as Sears dealt with numerous issues. Sears used to have its main office in a tall building in Chicago. Later, they moved to a place called Hoffman Estates. But in 2021, they said they would sell that place too.

By the end of 2023, Sears will only have 13 stores left. Most are in the U.S., but one is in Puerto Rico. In 2018, Sears was in big trouble, and they had to ask the law for help. They said they didn’t have enough money to pay debts, so they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October. They even had to sell some stores to stay afloat.

The leader of Sears, Eddie Lampert, tried to save the company. In January 2019, he won an auction to keep around 400 stores open, saving many jobs. A judge approved a plan to keep the business going with about 425 stores.

But the problems didn’t stop. Sears continued to close more stores. In 2019, they opened a few new ones under the name Sears Home & Life. However, they also had to close some old stores, like the last one in Alabama and West Virginia.

How Many Sears Are Left In The U.S.?

As the years went by, Sears kept closing more stores. In 2022, even the Sears Auto Centers shut down. By October 2023, only 12 big Sears stores will still be open. Most of them are in the regular U.S. Also, there’s one in Puerto Rico.

The smaller Sears Hometown stores also faced bankruptcy and are closing for good.

Sears used to be a giant, but now it’s much smaller. The last Sears stores are hanging on, but it’s not like it used to be.

Why Was Sears A Failure?

Here are five big reasons why Sears didn’t do well and had to shut down:

Mall Stores Did Not Work 

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Sears had big stores in malls all over the country. But when people started shopping more online and at big stores, malls struggled. Sears didn’t change their stores enough, and that hurt them. Even though they tried smaller stores, it didn’t help much.

Bad Store Experience 

As fewer people shopped at Sears, they tried to save money. But it made things worse. The stores looked old and not nice. Other stores spent more to make their places better, but Sears didn’t. People didn’t like going there. Imagine if your favourite store looked old and boring – you might not want to visit!

Not Enough Cool Stuff To Buy

Sears had a hard time getting cool things to sell in their stores. Some popular brands didn’t want to work with Sears. Also, the shelves in their stores were often empty. People noticed that Sears couldn’t keep up with other stores. In a survey, women even said they liked shopping at thrift stores more than Sears for clothes! That’s not good for a big store. And when Sears couldn’t pay its bills, some companies didn’t want to send them things to sell. That’s like not having the toys, clothes, and T.V.s people want to buy.

No More Catalogue

In 1993, Sears stopped making their famous catalogue. This catalogue was a huge deal for Sears. It helped them sell things to people in faraway places through the mail. Also, it gave them special info about what people liked. Sears was like an older version of Amazon! But when they stopped the catalogue, Sears lost this advantage. They didn’t find a new way to know what people wanted, which was a big mistake.

Merging With KMart Was A Mix-Up

In 2004, Sears joined a discount store called Kmart. This wasn’t a great move. Sears used to be special – not too expensive, but good quality. Teaming up with Kmart made Sears seem cheaper. They had to compete with Walmart and Target, and that was tough. Fancy stores like GAP also took customers from Sears. Sears ended up stuck in the middle and lost its uniqueness.

Can Sears Make A Comeback?

Simeon Siegel, a person who studies stores, said that Sears could come back, even though many people shop on the internet now. He thinks big stores that sell many different things can still do well if they choose things people like. He also said that having a famous name, like Sears, is valuable, and other companies might want to use it.

One shopper, Sage, thinks Sears can do better if it talks to younger people and learns what they want. She thinks Sears should keep the things people like but also try new ideas.

Who Are The Biggest Competitors Of Sears?

As we all know, in business, different companies compete with each other by selling similar things. For a company to do well, it’s not just about making their stuff better but also looking at what their competition is doing.

Let’s check out some of the top competitors of Sears:


Walmart is a big store that started in 1962. It’s a family business controlled by the Walton family. It operates worldwide with lots of stores and also sells things online.


Macy’s has two big stores called Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. They started in 1858. Macy’s was first a small fancy store in New York.

Best Buy

Best Buy is a big store selling electronics. It started in 1966 as a store for audio stuff. It works in the U.S. and other countries.


Target is a big store that sells lots of things at lower prices. It started in 1902. The company was first called “Goodfellow Dry Goods.”

JC Penny

JC Penny is a company that started in 1902. It’s in 49 states in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. They have lots of locations, and it’s an American company.


Kroger is one of the largest grocery sellers in the U.S., founded in 1883. It has many stores, mainly in Ohio.


Amazon began as a place to buy books online. Now, it’s a huge global business that started in 1995. It sells all kinds of stuff online and offers services like Prime Video and Amazon Music.

The Wrap

Sears Layoffs. Sears, a once-mighty retail giant, faced a series of challenges leading to significant layoffs and store closures. From its historical roots as a mail-order catalogue in 1892 to merging with Kmart in 2005, Sears struggled against competitors like Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Financial troubles, unclear value propositions, and a failure to adapt to changing retail landscapes contributed to its downfall. Layoffs became inevitable, impacting its Hoffman Estates support centre and raising questions about Sears’ ability to survive in the modern market. The retail landscape, ever-evolving, leaves Sears, now reduced to a mere shadow of its former self, fighting to stay relevant.