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Sears laying off 100 at headquarters

Updated: March 18, 2012 8:15AM

Sears Holdings Corp., which won approval of a state tax break, is laying off 100 employees from a variety of departments at its Hoffman Estates headquarters.

The layoffs will not endanger the troubled retailer’s $150 million payroll tax credit that the Illinois Legislature approved late last year, said spokesman Chris Brathwaite.

The new tax credit, approved in December and which takes effect in 2013, requires a minimum 4,250 employees at Sears headquarters, and 6,000 will work there after Thursday’s layoff, Brathwaite said.

“If we don’t meet our obligations, we receive no benefits,” Brathwaite said.

Shortly after Gov. Quinn signed the tax incentive measure, Sears announced it was closing 120 stores nationwide to deal with its poor holiday sales.

The 126-year-old retailer, whose sales have dropped year after year and which has placed more emphasis on on-line sales rather than investing in brick-and-mortar stores, indicated it would move its headquarters out of Illinois if it didn’t receive the tax credit. Sears ultimately decided to keep the headquarters in Hoffman Estates.

Said Brathwaite, “We are focused on improving our business and continuing to be a strong, contributing member of the Illinois business community.”

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