Sears Reorganizes Ops In Five Biz Units

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Sears Reorganizes Ops In Five Biz Units

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- In an attempt to boost performance, Sears Holdings Corp. here is implementing a new organizational structure and operating model to simplify the way its business lines are managed and create greater autonomy and focus for the business unit management teams.

The company said the new structure is built on five types of business units that enable each organization to focus on its core categories and capabilities: operating businesses, support, brands, online and real estate. The operating business units will consist of the company's current lines of business such as home appliances, electronics, and apparel, while the support units will include the functions that provide operational and administrative support to the operating businesses including marketing, store operations, customer strategy and finance.

The brand units, meanwhile, will be responsible for growing the value of Sears Holdings brand portfolio and the real estate business and online business units will focus on increasing the sales productivity of the company's physical and virtual real estate.

Each business unit will have a designated leader and an advisory group comprised of senior Sears Holdings executives, who will provide direction and oversee the business unit's performance. The leadership of each unit will also have a separate, internal profit and loss statement to allow greater focus on managing the profitability of the unit, and rapid decision making to capitalize on opportunities and mitigate risks.

"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. "By creating smaller focused teams that are clearly responsible for their units, we increase autonomy and accountability, create greater ownership and enable faster, better decisions. Our board of directors, our senior leadership team and I believe this will make Sears Holdings a more responsive and competitive company in the future."

Lampert said at the time of the merger, “a centrally managed structure was essential to control costs and focus on integrating the two companies. Now, it's time to empower individual businesses and teams to focus on the customer experience and performance. Stronger business units will be better able to support each other, build a stronger company, and be more attractive to partners and talent. We are not doing this overnight; this is a phased transition to enable our business units and their key partners to learn how to leverage the new model."

Sears Holdings Corp. has 3,800 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada.