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Sears Restructures Business Units


Hoffman Estates, Ill., Sears Holdings Corp. on Tuesday revealed new information regarding its decentralized structure designed to help the company jump-start its business following recent profit declines.

Sears Holdings said it will have five business units under the new decentralized structure, each focused on specific categories and capabilities. These units are: operating businesses, support, brands, online and real estate. Each unit will have a leader and advisory group. Senior Holdings executives will oversee performance.

"We are convinced that our businesses can operate more efficiently and effectively, and we continue to look for ways to make that happen," said Sears Holdings chairman Edward S. Lampert.

Sears Holdings was formed after the 2005 merger of Kmart and Sears. At that time, the company initially focused on a centrally managed structure to control costs and focus on integrating the two companies. The new corporate structure, however, will "create smaller, focused teams that are clearly responsible for their units,” Lampert said. “These units will increase autonomy and accountability, create greater ownership and enable faster, better decisions.”

The operating business unit will focus on current product lines, such as appliances, apparel and electronics. Support will include marketing, store operations and customer strategy. The real estate and online units will focus on increasing the sales productivity of real and virtual holdings.

Sears Holdings has reported profit declines for the past two quarters, and sales at stores open at least a year have fallen at both Kmart and Sears for the past seven quarters.

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