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Sears to eliminate 4,900 salaried positions in cost-cutting overhaul

CHICAGO (AP) _ Sears, Roebuck and Co. said Wednesday it is eliminating 4,900 salaried jobs over the next 18 months and revising its merchandise offerings as part of a cost-cutting overhaul.

The announcement came as Sears reported a slight gain in third-quarter earnings and outlined a new strategy that moves the retailer further from a traditional department-store company and closer to a discount store.

The nation's fourth-largest retailer has been losing ground in recent years to such discounters as Kohl's and Target.

As part of the changes, Sears is making its biggest job cuts in eight years.

Some 1,300 positions will be eliminated at Sears' headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates by the end of 2002. That will result in a cut of nearly 19 percent of Sears' 7,000 headquarters employees.

Another 3,600 positions will be cut from Sears' field organization for its full-line department stores. The field organization, which employs 15,000, consists of district and regional offices around the nation that supervise the retailer's 860 department stores.
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