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Toronto-based Sears Canada is turning over the work currently performed at three internal Customer Contact Centres to IBM, the company announced.
Sears Canada says the move will "provide a significant upgrade in technology and processes." It will also cut about 1,345 jobs.
"The changes we are making to our Customer Contact Centres will allow us to streamline the support structure of our organization while enhancing the overall customer experience," said Doug Campbell, president and CEO, Sears Canada. "Our partner will bring tools and technologies that will allow us to operate more effectively without the ongoing investment in and maintenance of legacy proprietary systems. This will provide our customers with the benefits of up-to-date technology and enable us to focus on our core retail business, the area where we believe we have the greatest opportunity to maximize the value of the Company."
The transfer will take place over the next nine months.
At the same time, the company is streamlining its logistics structure, which will result 283 additional job cuts.
"These types of decisions are not made without considerable thought and deliberation," added Campbell. "We are planning for the future of Sears Canada and taking steps now that will allow us to continue serving customers as a viable national retailer coast to coast in stores and through our Direct channel now and in the future."
Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes 181 corporate stores, 241 Hometown stores, over 1,400 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 101 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide repair and service network.