Business

Future of North Bay's Sears in serious doubt

Future of North Bay's Sears in serious doubt

Sears Canada Inc.is applying for court approval to liquidate all of its remaining stores and assets after failing to find a buyer that would allow it to continue as a going concern.

As it is, Sears Canada expects to take its motion to liquidate before the court on October 13.

Sears last week received a revised bid from a group led by its executive chairman Brandon Stranzl to buy the business.

However, on Tuesday, the retailer said that "following exhaustive efforts, no viable transaction" was received.

The company on September 30 announced plans to close an additional 10 full department stores and a Sears Home store.

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"The people who have worked for us have been fantastic", said Vincent Power, spokesperson for Sears Canada, in a phone interview with CBC P.E.I. The company was granted creditor protection earlier this year and announced it would be closing 20 full-line locations, 15 Sears Home stores, ten Sears Outlets and 14 Sears Hometown locations.

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

Sears in Canada had grown out of a partnership between the Chicago retailer and rival Simpsons in Toronto.

If Sears Canada gets court approval to begin the process, it expects liquidation sales at its stores would start no earlier than October 19 and continue for 10 to 14 weeks. "But we are working, along. with pension representative council, to pursue all avenues possible as an alternative to liquidation". Sears Canada will continue to provide updates regarding its restructuring as developments warrant. "This is an extremely sad day for all of us and certainly not the outcome we wanted".