California, New York, and other states are raising the minimum wage, thanks to pressure from President Barack Obama and liberal state politicians.
But those increases hurt companies in serious ways. Now, the Sears Holdings company has announced that 68 Kmart stores and 10 Sears stores will close immediately this summer to cut losses.
This is on top of 50 closings which have already been scheduled, after a disappointing Christmas sales season in the Obama economy.
“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability,” said Sears Holdings CEO Edward Lampert in a statement.
He added that higher minimum wage costs also severely hurt performance, according to the USA Today.
Sears said affected workers would have an opportunity to apply for open positions at other area stores. Some displaced employees will receive severance packages, the company said.
The stores slated to close will begin liquidation sales later this month.
“We are committed to treating these associates with respect and compassion during this process,” Lampert said.
Entry level jobs at Kmart and Sears are supposed to allow young adults the chance to gain on-the-job experience. By becoming productive members of the work force, they will advance to higher paying jobs.
But now, thanks to increasing minimum wages, they are being priced out of the market and Kmarts are closing everywhere. This is tragic!
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