TORONTO – Sears Canada told a judge today that it’s “crucial’ for the beleaguered retailer to start liquidation sales at its stores on Friday, so it can “maximize” benefits for its stakeholders.
A Sears lawyer told a hearing in Ontario Superior Court that it wants its agents to start sales of merchandise, furniture, fixtures and equipment as soon as possible.
There was no objection from lawyers representing Sears Canada employees or the company’s landlords.
All sales would be final and sold in “as is” condition during normal store operating hours.
The liquidations would only occur in stores that have been slated for closure.
If approved by Justice Glenn Hainey, the sales would begin July 21 and run no later than Oct. 12, with the majority be overseen by a liquidator that was previously in charge of similar sales for now-defunct Target Canada.
Current employees in the stores pegged for liquidation will be asked to stay on the job until the sales are complete and the location is shut down.
The department store owner has been under creditor protection since June 22 after announcing it was shuttering 59 stores and cutting approximately 2,900 jobs — without severance pay from the company.
Last week, Hainey gave the company the green light to begin the process of putting itself up for sale.
He also gave the retailer approval to pay $9.2 million in retention bonuses to executives and other key employees.
The payout was part of a compromise with retired employees that will see the company continue making some benefit and pension payments to retirees until Sept. 30.
Founded in 1952, Sears Canada says it hopes to exit court protection as soon as possible this year.