Sears Canada will open a business services centre in Edmundston this spring, with 180 new jobs expected to be created.

Premier Brian Gallant says the jobs at the Edmundston centre will include business services agents, team leads, information technology support, human resources personnel, administrative support and managers. Recruitment and training is underway, with the centre scheduled to begin taking calls in May.

In a statement, Brandon G. Stranzl, executive chairman for Sears Canada said  "Here is our 'help wanted' message to Edmundston: we are looking for 180 people to deliver 'wow' experiences, create positive emotional connections with our customers, and, in so doing, reinvent and be the stewards of the Sears Canada brand."

Opportunities NB, which worked with Sears Canada to choose a location for the centre, will contribute $2.2 million through a combination of payroll rebates and loans. The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour will provide $458,000 through the One Job Pledge initiative, and the Regional Development Corporation will contribute $850,000. The government estimates these 180 new jobs will increase the provincial GDP by $8.9 million annually.

Sears Canada has 140 corporate stores, 71 Hometown stores, more than 900 online merchandise pick-up locations, and a nationwide repair and service network. The company has more than 17,000 associates.

Sears Canada currently employs 418 people in New Brunswick through its four full-line stores, four Hometown stores and 22 online merchandise pick-up locations.