October 11, 2017 7:35 pm

Sears closures could cost Belleville more than 650 jobs

The news that Sears is sinking will come as a big blow to Belleville's economy. The retail chain employs more than 650 people in the Friendly City. Those jobs will soon be lost between the Sears warehouse and two retail stores in the Quinte Mall. Sears is planning to liquidate all merchandise, starting as early as next Thursday. Morganne Campbell has more.


The City of Belleville is about to lose hundreds of full and part-time jobs after Sears Canada announced plans to liquidate all of its remaining stores and assets.

Between the Sears Warehouse and a retail location at the Quinte Mall, the facilities employ 657 people.

Sears Canada made the announcement Tuesday, explaining that it failed to find a “viable” solution to allow the retailer to continue to stay in business.

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The warehouse was once a bustling facility, employing over 1000 people before the company dismantled the call centre in 2014. A sign of things to come for the Canadian retailer now applying for court approval to liquidate, if approved sale signs could go up as early as October 19th, the entire process could last between 10-14 weeks.

READ MORE: Sears Canada: Here’s how many jobs each province will lose

It comes as a shock to many who consider Sears an iconic Canadian brand.

“We’ve shopped Sears for years and years and my mother used to be the manager of an order office. And it was such a booming business and now it’s just gone,” explained Monica Hennessy, a long-time shopper.

Sears has been working under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act since June and with no potential buyer in sight, Sears is left with no option but to close. Leaving some with questions.

“We bought all of our appliances too and like we’ve paid the extra money for the warranty because they’re so good to work with and everything like that and it’s like where’s that money going?”  said Jessica Tweedy, a customer at the Belleville store.

READ MORE: MAP: Sears Canada locations that will be liquidated and shut down

As for Sears’s demise,  it’s been a long time coming according to Queen’s University marketing expert Ken Wong who suggests the company lost its relevance to most consumers about 25 years ago.

“I think the problem with Sears was at one time it was great value at a good price then it became mediocre quality at a low price and mediocre at a low price is something that just about anybody can do so it’s hard to stay in business that way,” explained Wong.

The court hearing is slated for October 13.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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