Kmart Makes Staffing Cuts

Feb 13, 2004

By George Anderson

Kmart is laying off workers and cutting time back on others and, depending on who you believe, it is either because the chain’s stores are operating more efficiently and need
fewer people or because business is slow.

A spokesperson for the company, Jack Ferry, said, “We are taking this action to create a more service-flexible environment in our stores. Part-time associate teams in a retail
environment enables store managers to schedule employees more effectively.”

Gary Ruffing, a retail consultant with BBK Ltd. and former vice president of merchandise presentation and communication for Kmart, told the Detroit Free Press, “They are
not making their sales plans, so they are making adjustments to their staffing,” he said. “I think they are still struggling to find out who they are and where they fit in.”

The Free Press report said that emails it had received from Kmart store employees indicated stores were losing up to 10 percent of personnel with higher-paid workers taking the
biggest hit.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you make of the layoffs at Kmart?

Stores are going to cut back on people and hours after the holidays but this, Kmart acknowledges, goes beyond the norm. The chain is going to have a hard
time differentiating itself by offering consumers higher prices than Wal-Mart and even less service than it has in the past.
Anderson – Moderator

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