Sears Canada to create 350 jobs at new Saint John business services centre

SAINT JOHN, NB, Jan. 20, 2017 /CNW/ - Sears Canada is opening a business services centre in Saint John this Spring, creating 350 new jobs. Combined with Wednesday's announcement of a similar centre in Edmundston, the company is adding 530 jobs in New Brunswick.

"New Brunswick is a world leader in the business services centre sector. It is already an important industry for our economy, employing thousands of New Brunswickers, and we see it as an opportunity for growth moving forward," said Premier Brian Gallant. "We are proud Sears Canada has chosen to invest and create jobs here in New Brunswick."

The jobs at the Saint John centre will include business services agents, team leads, information technology support, human resources personnel, administrative support and managers. Recruitment and training will begin in early March, with the centre scheduled to begin taking calls this spring.

"Sears Canada is turning its approach to retail inside out. We are in the process of a major reinvention of our brand and what it means for our customers," said Brandon G. Stranzl, executive chairman, Sears Canada. "We are making significant investments in technology and customer loyalty. Why? Because our customers will always remember how we made them feel, and if we make them feel great, they will become lifetime customers. We will bring amazing products at amazing prices, and when customers use their products or speak with us, whether in person, on the phone, or on email or chat, we want to bring amazing experiences, emotions, stories, and memories to their lives. By creating these emotional connections, we will build lifelong relationships with customers.

"This week we are announcing the creation of a Canadian-domiciled customer loyalty team, creating more than 500 jobs right here in Canada," said Stranzl. "The idea is that a local, Canadian-based loyalty team will be able to build strong emotional connections with our customers. So, here is our 'help wanted' message to New Brunswickers: we are looking for more than 500 people to deliver 'wow' experiences, create positive emotional connections with our customers, and, in so doing, reinvent and be the stewards of the Sears Canada brand. I want to thank Premier Gallant and Opportunities NB for their help in establishing these centres and I look forward to continuing our positive relationship together."

"Sears Canada's decision to open in New Brunswick speaks directly to the quality of the workforce we have in the province," said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also the minister responsible for Opportunities NB. "The business services centre sector is expanding in size due to New Brunswick's bilingual workforce and our significant infrastructure and resources."

Opportunities NB, which worked with Sears Canada to choose a location for the Saint John centre, will contribute $4.3 million through a combination of payroll rebates and loans. The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour will provide $894,000 through the One Job Pledge initiative. The government estimates these 350 new jobs will increase the provincial GDP by $17.4 million annually.

Sears Canada has one the most extensive retail networks in the country, including 140 corporate stores, 71 Hometown stores, more than 900 online merchandise pick-up locations, and a nationwide repair and service network. The company has more than 17,000 associates offering products and services to millions of Canadians. Sears Canada employs 418 people in New Brunswick through its four full-line stores, four Hometown stores and 22 online merchandise pick-up locations.

New Brunswick's business services centres sector offers career opportunities with some of the world's most-recognized companies, including RBC, TD Insurance, WestJet and Medavie Blue Cross.

Opportunities NB is a Crown corporation that seeks to attract and support opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs. It provides support services for businesses across the province.

SOURCE Sears Canada Inc.

For further information: MEDIA CONTACTS: Mary-Anne Hurley-Corbyn, communications, Opportunities NB, 506-476-7596; Vincent Power, communications, Sears Canada, vpower@sears.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.sears.ca

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