Sears liquidation sales begin at 54 stores

TORONTO — Shoppers queued up Friday in hopes of finding a deal as Sears Canada Inc. began liquidation sales at 54 locations that will be closed as part of a court-supervised restructuring that began last month.

Large red, black and yellow signs that proclaimed “everything must go” and “nothing held back” greeted bargain hunters who began lining up before the doors opened

Sears Canada says prices will be discounted by 20 to 50 per cent.

“We encourage consumers to shop early to take advantage of the best selection of products and great savings available throughout the stores while supplies last,” Gary Epstein, a spokesman for the liquidates group, said in a statement.

The sales — to be held across the country — are being run by a joint venture group including Hilco Global, Gordon Brothers, Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group.

In addition to the store merchandise, the liquidators will be selling fixtures, furnishings and equipment in the closing stores.

The liquidation sales are at 20 full-line, 15 Sears Home, 10 Outlet and nine Hometown locations in every province except Prince Edward Island.

In total, Sears plans to close 59 locations and cut about 2,900 positions before emerging from court protection.

Sears Canada has been under court protection since June 22. Under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, it’s looking for a buyer or investor while negotiating with lenders, landlords and other creditors.

Employees at the stores where the liquidation sales are taking place have been asked to stay on the job until the sales are complete and the location is shut down.

Sears Canada expects to finish the liquidation sales by Oct. 12 and hopes to complete its restructuring as soon as possible this year.

Once a retail stalwart, Sears Canada has struggled in recent years despite its efforts to adapt to the changes in the retail business.

The company has also been challenged by several changes in its executive leadership over the last four years.

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