Sears is planning for the sale or redevelopment of its Hoffman Estates, Ill. corporate headquarters, according to The Chicago Tribune and CNBC. The sale of the 273-acre Chicago-area campus, which includes 2.3 million square feet of office space and 100 acres of undeveloped land, would be just the latest development in the steady downsizing of Sears’ real estate holdings.
“These changes have reduced our needs for a corporate campus that was built 30 years ago for the needs of a more centralized business,” said Larry Costello, Director of PR and Corporate Communications at Sears’ parent company Transformco in a statement. “We are exploring development opportunities for the Hoffman Estates property that enhance its value for both associates based there and the broader Hoffman Estates community.”
Sears has been downsizing its operations for several years and, like many companies, has been working with a mix of in-person and remote work during the pandemic. The retailer declined to share the current number of employees at its Hoffman Estates office, but state filings show there were 4,411 workers as of 2017.
The department store chain also has been steadily shrinking its property holdings since it filed for bankruptcy in late 2018 before being rescued by former CEO Eddie Lampert’s Transformco in early 2019. Sears has been exploring real estate sales since December 2018 and had even divested its own assets, including the DieHard brand, over the past several years.