NB gives $3.5M to Sears Canada to create 180 jobs in Edmundston

(CP) - The New Brunswick government is giving struggling retailer Sears Canada Inc. $3.5 million to open a business centre in the province that's expected to create 180 new jobs.

The centre, to be located in the city of Edmundston, N.B., will be home to positions such as business services agents, information technology support and human resources personnel.

Sears executive chairman Brandon Stranzl wouldn't disclose how much Sears Canada is investing in the centre but said it's not a money-saving initiative.

Rather, it's meant to improve customer service.

He said the company's current business centre operations are based mostly in the Philippines, but the Edmundston jobs would be in addition to those located abroad.

Sears struggled during the holiday season, its Facebook page filled with customer service complaints from shoppers.

Many of the critiques centred around Christmas gifts not arriving on time and delays in refunds.

The New Brunswick workers will be trained differently than those handling the majority of customer service complaints now, Stranzl said.

The new employees will focus on putting the customer first.