Sears Canada is seeking court approval to liquidate all of its remaining stores and assets, after failing to find a “viable” solution to allow it to continue to stay in business, the company announced in a statement on Tuesday.
The liquidation will affect 12,000 jobs, including the company’s Toronto head office and 11 stores that the company announced it would shut last week, a spokesperson for Sears Canada told Global News via email. Approximately three-quarters of those positions are part-time.
The court hearing is expected for Oct. 13. Pending court approval, liquidation sales would start no earlier than Oct. 19 and continue for 10 to 14 weeks, Sears said.
The troubled retailer was granted creditor protection on June 22, 2017. On that day, it announced it would be closing 59 stores across Canada and lay off approximately 2,900 employees.
The company is now looking to shutter all its remaining stores, which would include 74 full-line stores, eight Sears Home stores and 49 Hometown stores. That list includes the 11 store closings Sears Canada recently announced, according to the spokesperson.
According to Global News calculations based on the company’s latest quarterly earnings, the geographical distribution of the store closings — not including Hometown stores — is as follows:
- Atlantic provinces: five full-line stores
- Quebec: 18 full-line stores
- Ontario: 30 full-line stores, five Sears Home stores
- Prairies: 10 full-line stores, one Sears Home store
- Pacific region: 11 full-line stores, two Sears Home stores
Global News is waiting for clarification on the location of the remaining Sears Hometown stores.
Sears Canada said it regrets the pending outcome and the resulting loss of jobs and store closures.
LISTEN: Newstalk 770’s Rob Breakenridge explores what went wrong for Sears Canada
Speculation around a Sears liquidation started swirling last week
Rumours about the retailers’ impending liquidation started swirling last week after a the court-appointed monitor in the insolvency case wrote that the company was facing mounting financial obligations and continuing operating losses.
The monitor’s report, which was filed Oct. 2, noted that there may not even be enough time to reach an acceptable deal with a buyer group headed by Sears’ executive chairman, Brandon Stranzl.
Stranzl had stepped away from his duties in August in order to assemble a bid to purchase the retailer as a going concern.
But the monitor said the Stranzl group’s initial proposal to buy the business would have provided unsecured creditors with less than selling off Sears Canada’s assets piece by piece and liquidation of its remaining inventory would.
Sears said in a statement on Sept. 29 it was still working with Stranzl to find a workable deal.
– With files from the Canadian Press