Sears Canada seeks court approval to liquidate all stores

Sears plans to close all Canadian locations

Sears Canada is announcing that it will seek to begin liquidating all of its remaining stores after no buyer for the company could be found. Executive chairman Brandon Stranzl had been working on a bid to save the company but has so far been unsuccessful.

The company said in a statement that it would make the application to the Ontario Superior Court on Friday.

The retailer now has approximately 12,000 employees, three-quarters of which are part-time, Shaffer added.

The move would see about 130 outlets close and put about 12,000 employees out of work. About 75% of those employees are part-time workers, Sears said.

Sears Canada, which began operations in Canada in 1952, expects liquidation sales to begin on about October 19, and continue for 10 to 14 weeks, the Toronto-based company said in a statement on Tuesday.

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However, Susan Ursel, a lawyer representing current and former Sears Canada employees, says a liquidation would be "extremely detrimental".

The retailer has been operating under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act since June.

But its lenders required it to enter into liquidation agreements for the rest of its assets by October 7, agreeing with FTI Consulting that they would recover more through liquidation than a deal to keep it operating.

Jean Rickli, a senior advisor with retail and marketing consulting firm J.C. Williams Group, said the retailer had taken some positive steps to revitalize the brand in recent years, such as a new logo and utilizing pop-up shops.

For awhile now, people have been speculating that Sears Canada was doomed. "This is an extremely sad day for all of us and certainly not the outcome we wanted".

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