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Sears liquidation sales start Friday. Expect savings of up to 50%, company says

Liquidation sales at 59 Sears Canada stores begin today.
Liquidation sales at 59 Sears Canada stores begin today. Ryan Remiorz/CP

Editor’s note: The previous version of this story reported liquidation sales would start July 21 at 59 closing stores. In fact, sales will begin at 54 locations. 

Liquidation sales kick off Friday at the 54 locations that embattled retailer Sears Canada plans to close as part of its corporate restructuring. (See a complete list of closing locations at the bottom of this page.)

Customers can expect “savings of up to 50 per cent off,”  the company told Global News.

Sears Canada filed for creditor protection on June 22 and obtained court approval Tuesday to begin sales July 21.

READ MORE: Sears doesn’t want the word ‘liquidation’ used in its liquidation sales

What you need to know:

Regular opening hours

Sales will take place during each store’s normal opening hours and end no later than Oct. 12, according to court documents.

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No returns

All sales at closing stores will be final and “as is,” according to the filings. Closing stores won’t even honour returns for product purchased before the start of the liquidation process.

Sales include appliances

Hoping to score a cheap fridge or washing machine? This may be your chance. Appliances big and small will also be included in the sale in stores where they are available, the company told Global News.

Warranties and repair guarantees will be honoured

Sears’ extended warranties on products like mattresses and appliances will remain valid, the retailer said.

“Customers can call a toll-free home repair service number, 1-800-4-MY-HOME (in French, 1-800-LE-FOYER) and service is arranged by them. Technicians are not based in a store, nor do they necessarily depart from a Sears location to start their daily rounds. If parts are needed for a certain repair, parts are sent to the technician’s home base and then the technician goes out to do the service from that home base,” the company wrote in an e-mail to Global News.

Loyalty points

Closing stores will accept loyalty points issued before July 21, according to court filings.

READ MORE: Sears Canada reaches compromise over pension payments, health benefits as company restructures

Other things to keep in mind

What happens to warranties if Sears Canada goes bankrupt or if another company buys it?

Sears Canada didn’t go bankrupt. It filed for creditor protection, a legal process that keeps creditors at bay and gives companies a chance to restructure themselves and emerge as a viable business.

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But what happens if Sears should go belly-up in the end, or if another company acquires it?

“There is no guarantee that they will stay in business,” noted Maureen Atkinson, senior partner at J.C. Williams Group, a retail adviser.

READ MORE: 2,900 Sears Canada employees won’t receive severance after layoff

In that case, Canadians who bought their appliances at Sears could be left with their manufacturers’ warranties alone, which are generally shorter and less generous than Sears’ guarantee.

And customers will have no one to turn to if they end up in a dispute with the manufacturer, said Atkinson.

That’s a snag Canadians who rushed to take advantage of Target’s liquidation sales ran into, as Global News reported a couple of years ago.

READ MORE: ‘That one hurts’ – brand expert warns Sears Canada about decision to lay off Mike Myers’ brother

Asked about the implications of a bankruptcy or corporate acquisition on product warranties, a Sears spokesperson wrote simply that the retailer “is working to complete its restructuring in a timely fashion and hopes to exit [creditor] protection as soon as possible in 2017, better positioned to capitalize of the opportunities that exist in the Canadian retail marketplace.”

WATCH: Life’s not so good for LG customer with broken TV, no warranty

Are you really getting a deal?

A 50 per cent discount sounds great, but liquidation sales aren’t always as good as they appear. When Target Canada went bust in 2015, many Canadians complained its liquidation discounts fell short of expectations.

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Several shoppers told Global News at the time they discovered the price they had paid at the liquidation sale was actually higher than the price the retailer had been charging just a few weeks earlier.

Back then a spokesperson for Target declined to comment other than to say the company had handed over the liquidation process to third parties.

READ MORE: Shoppers complain Target Canada jacked prices ahead of sales

Here are the 54 locations slated for closure and where liquidations are planned: