Hoffman Estates, Ill. - Kmart will no longer staff its appliance departments with dedicated sales associates.
The Sears Holdings division pink-slipped about 700 appliance employees at some 225 Kmart stores on Monday, and instead will cross-train remaining store staff on appliances. Customers can also call a 1-800 number, which will be affixed to each appliance model, for additional assistance if needed.
The move came as the departments' point-of-sale systems (POS) were updated to perform sales and delivery functions within the Kmart platform, which will allow customers to purchase appliances at any check-out counter in the store, a Sears Holdings spokesman told TWICE.
Prior to the change, the departments were plugged into Sears' POS system, requiring specially-trained associates, the spokesman said.
Kmart added white-goods to its floors in 2005 and expanded the offering to about 270 stores over the intervening years, placing it at No. 20 on TWICE's 2010 Top 100 Appliance Retailers rankings. [The 2011 report will be released on Monday, June 20.]
The chain extended elements of its majap assortment to all 1,300 stores in February.