Kmart announces 660 more job cuts, more than half at company headquarters in Troy, Mich.

Monday, March 31st 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ Kmart Corp. announced the elimination of 660 jobs as part of the bankrupt retailer's efforts to cut costs.

Some 400 jobs will be cut at headquarters in suburban Troy, 123 corporate positions will be cut around the country, and an additional 137 positions currently open will be eliminated.

The announcement of the job cuts comes about a month before Kmart plans to exit Chapter 11 protection. The company said in January it would cut jobs at headquarters, but did not at the time disclose the extent of the cuts.

Kmart filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 22, 2002. Last year, it closed 283 of its 2,114 stores across the nation, affecting more than 22,000 workers. Earlier this year, Kmart shuttered an additional 316 stores, affecting more than 34,000 employees.

``We continue to take the necessary actions to create a financially healthy, cost-effective organization that is positioned to compete in the discount sector,'' Julian Day, Kmart's president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Day said the cuts will save the company $150 million a year.

It is trying to focus on a longer-term goal of differentiating itself from competitors like Wal-Mart and Target by tailoring its stores to the neighborhoods where they are located. Kmart had suffered as Wal-Mart offered lower prices and Target established a more stylish image.