The Associated Press is reporting that Washington, D. C., and Boston have emerged as the two finalists as Sears Holding Corp. ponders a possible relocation of its headquarters from suburban Chicago. Such a move could bring thousands of jobs even as the retailer battles sluggish sales, with a loss of $174 million during the first quarter.
Currently, Sears is one of the largest employers in Hoffman Estates, Ill., a city of 54,000 outside of Chicago, where it employs about 5,000. The company has been in its current location since the early 1990s. The AP report notes that a local incentive which allows property taxes to return to Sears headquarters rather than to help fund local schools will expire next year and requires state approval for an extension. Officials from Illinois and Hoffman Estates are reportedly in discussions with Sears to persuade the company to stay put.