Why Sears Canada is Investing in New Brunswick
This week, Sears Canada announced the opening of two new business services centres in the province of New Brunswick. The first is in Edmundston, where 180 positions will be created. The second is located in Saint John and will create an additional 350 positions. The two centres will handle multi-channel customer correspondence from across Canada, as well as back office and administrative functions.
This initiative is part of the Canadian retail giant’s commitment to enhanced customer service. The company recently rebranded itself with a new logo and the launch of its Sears 2.0 initiative, a redesign of its stores. Sears Canada is now laser-focused on giving Sears Canada customers the best shopping experience possible, whether it’s in their brick and mortar locations or online via Sears.ca.
Opportunities NB (ONB) spoke with Leigh Lampert, Sears Canada Vice-President – Strategic Objectives, to learn more.
ONB: Why New Brunswick for this customer service-centered initiative?
Lampert: I should begin by mentioning Premier Brian Gallant and the staff at Opportunities NB. The Premier has been personally involved with us since day one. He quickly put us in touch with all the right people at ONB, including CEO Stephen Lund. There has been real care given to Sears Canada from all parties involved. The positive attitude, the warm vibes, and the incredible assistance provided has been really encouraging.
ONB and the provincial government have made it clear that New Brunswick is open for business, and have done a wonderful job showing the Sears Canada team that New Brunswick is the place to be. That incredible level of support has been essential in making this week’s announcements possible.
ONB: What tangible advantages does Sears Canada see in opening these centres in New Brunswick?
Lampert: We want to employ skilled bilingual workers who have that can-do service-oriented attitude for which New Brunswick is well known. I grew up in New Brunswick, so I know full well how talented and loyal the workforce is.
Bilingualism is important to us because we have customers, associates, and other stakeholders coast-to-coast, so to be able to serve them all in both official languages is essential. There’s a well-established culture of customer care in the province that we want to leverage for Sears Canada customers. We want to create an outstanding customer experience for anyone that shops at Sears, either in-store or online, and this is a big part of that strategy.
ONB: What positions can we expect to see created?
Lampert: There will be plenty of business services agents handling customer calls and emails and back office functions. We will also need team leads and managers, as well as IT support associates supporting the two centres. We will also require Human Resources and other admin staff to support 530 total people. We expect to have live agents handling customers from Edmundston by late February and from Saint John by late March.
ONB: Finally, what’s next for Sears Canada?
Lampert: As part of Sears 2.0 we re-opened four stores last year in Ontario with a reinvented store experience. The intention is to have stores that are highly flexible. As an example, they have modular fixtures and large display units on wheels. That allows us to configure and reconfigure quickly and efficiently to adapt to customer preferences, improving our versatility. As specific needs in one store change, we are able to react quickly. We will have more stores launching with this new look and feel throughout 2017.
Our online experience is seeing changes as well. Via our Initium Commerce Lab we have redesigned the online shopping experience with a new and improved Sears.ca. Again, the desire here is to be more responsive to our customers, particularly the growing number that shop online. We are investing more in technology, and we expect our online customers will be impressed with what they see.
Ultimately, one of the key components of our culture is to be customer obsessed. These two new business services centres in New Brunswick are great examples of that commitment. Being obsessed with our customer, serving their needs quickly, and making the overall shopping experience the best you can find.
For nearly three decades, our highly-skilled bilingual workforce, competitive business costs, cultural affinity, and countless other factors have continued to attract Business Services to New Brunswick. Want to learn more? Connect with an ONB Business Development Executive at the button below.