Sears-KMart-Job Cuts

Sears and KMart find a new way to talk about layoffs

Sears and K-mart say they will save 500 million dollars a year if their merger goes through. Some of that will be in job cuts, though the companies aren't saying how many.

In fact, they're shy about using the term "job cuts." Or "layoffs." Or "terminations." The preferred turn of phrase is "head count changes."

Whatever they're called, a brand consultant says the reductions could create a public relations problem for the companies. "Does that mean there's going to be a lot of pink slips for Christmas?" asks Linda Kaplan Thaler, who runs an advertising and marketing firm. "That's a bad thing."