Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced today its intention to hire 6,500 veterans and military spouses in 2014, despite announcing massive layoffs last year.

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Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) said the nation’s servicemen and women possess unique skill sets which can be tapped for a wide range of industry disciplines.

Sears hired over 6,000 veterans last year

Sears Holdings’ chief human resources officer Dean Carter said in a statement that the retailer has long been recognized as one of the country’s leading military employers.

The retailer’s hiring goal announced today builds on the over 6,000 veterans and spouses hired in 2013, and nearly doubles the 3,500 hired in 2012. The retailer currently employs over 30,000 veteran associates, many of whom are still serving in the National Guard and the Reserve forces.

Interestingly, in November, Sears Canada agreed to sell five of its large urban locations back to its landlords in a deal worth $400 million, a move that could see layoffs of up to 965 store employees.

Sears lowers emphasis on brick-and-mortar stores

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) reported a wider loss in its third quarter as the ailing department store operator was hurt by weaker sales at its stores. Net loss attributable to Holdings’ shareholders was $534 million or $5.03 loss per diluted share.

The retailer’s revenues dropped $585 million to $8.3 billion for the third quarter, primarily due to the effect of having fewer Kmart and Sears Full-line stores in operation, which accounted for roughly $200 million of the decline.

The retailer is also in the midst of shifting its business, with less emphasis on its brick-and-mortar stores. Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) has roughly 2,500 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

20% increase in salaried veteran hires

Last year, the retailer targeted the hiring of 6,000 veterans and veteran spouses. They have been working in a variety of roles, including store manager, category manager and marketing project manager. The retailer realized a 20% increase in salaried veteran hires from 2012 to 2013 and plans to continue that trend moving forward.

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) has a history of supporting its military heroes since 1916, including its support of recent partnerships such as the White House’s Operation Joining Forces (2010) and its Military Spouse Employment Partnership (2011).

Sears Holdings’ vice president, talent acquisition and diversity Sherry Nolan-Schultz indicated that the retailer recognizes that the nation’s servicemen and women possess unique skill sets and leadership qualities difficult to find anywhere else. She added such knowledge and proficiencies can be used in a wide range of industry disciplines such as logistics, store management, loss prevention and home services.