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Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Sears seeking approval to liquidate Canadian stores

Sears seeking approval to liquidate Canadian stores

Numerous shopping malls could soon find themselves on the hunt for new anchor tenant if the Ontario Superior Court grants Sears Canada its request to begin the liquidation process.

The court hearing is expected to take place on October 13.

If approval is granted, closings will begin next week and continue over the next 10 to 14 weeks, according to the CBC. The company has closed almost 60 of its more than 250 stores since then.

"The company deeply regrets this pending outcome and the resulting loss of jobs and store closures", Sears Canada said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Sears Canada received and implemented going concern transactions for various lines of business, but following exhaustive efforts, no viable transaction for the company to continue as a going concern was received", Sears said in a statement.

"When you have the likes of Amazon that is investing in research and development continuously, it's just too much for them to react quickly enough", Jean Rickli, a senior adviser at retail consultants J.C. Williams Group, said from Toronto.

The decision to shutter operations follows a last-minute buyout bid organized by Sears Canada's top executive with the backing of private equity partners.

Sears Canada has been operating under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act since June, but had been struggling for years as consumers gravitated towards e-commerce and away from big department stores. The retailer now has approximately 12,000 employees, three-quarters of whom are part time, Shaffer added. But there is still a relationship between the brands - Sears Holdings owns shares of Sears Canada, and Sears Holdings CEO and principal shareholder Eddie Lampert is personally invested in the brand.

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