UPDATE: Nearly 100 Sears employees in Red Deer to lose jobs

One of 13 Sears stores closing in Alberta

The closure of Sears department store in Red Deer will see 96 employees out of work.

Vincent Power, vice-president of corporate affairs and communications with Sears Canada, said 69 of those employees work part time and the closure date has not been determined.

“We opened our first store at the Red Deer Centre (Parkland Mall) in the north end in 1978 and relocated to Bower Place on the south side of the city in 2003,” Power said in an e-mail.

On Thursday, Sears Canada announced it will close 59 stores, including 20 department stores, 15 Sears Home Stores, 10 Sears Outlets and 14 Sears Hometown locations.

Closures were announced after an Ontario court granted the department store chain temporary protection from creditors.

Power said closures were based on many factors, but it was primarily because the company needed to scale back its operations.

Headquartered in Toronto, the company operates 225 stores in all, including 95 department stores, 65 Sears Hometown stores, and 23 Sears Home Stores.

He said the company will help employees during liquidation with making contacts at other retailers, resume assistance and will offer them access to a virtual career transition website in the coming weeks at no cost to them.

“I would add that the decision to close this store is part of the actions we need to take at this time, but it has nothing to do with the quality of our staff there who have been a great team and have provided excellent service to Sears customers in the Red Deer area for several years, and we will miss them within the Sears family.”

Other Alberta stores that will close are department stores in Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie and Lloydminster; Hometown stores in Cold Lake, St. Albert, Okotoks, Spruce Grove, Fort McMurray, Leduc and Sherwood Park: and Sears Home Stores in Calgary and Edmonton.

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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