Sears Canada granted OK to liquidate remaining stores
TORONTO (AP) — Sears Canada received court approval Friday to liquidate all its remaining stores, putting 12,000 employees out of a job.
Ontario Superior Court heard that despite weeks of discussion, no viable buyer has been found.
Justice Glenn Hainey approved Sears Canada’s motion to liquidate its remaining 130 stores, and said he was satisfied there was no viable alternative.
The embattled retailer sought protection from its creditors in June.
A buyer-group led by Sears Canada executive chairman Brandon Stranzl had been in discussions to purchase the retailer and continue to operate it. But a lawyer for Sears Canada told the court that although it had remained optimistic, no executable transaction exists.
That job-loss tally doesn’t include the 2,900 reductions Sears Canada had announced in June, with the closure of 20 full-line locations, 15 Sears Home stores, 10 Sears Outlet and 14 Sears Hometown locations.
Litigators for a group of lenders who have provided debtor-in-possession financing to Sears Canada to keep it afloat had pushed to enter into a liquidation agreement by Oct. 7 at the latest. The lenders wanted approval no later than Oct. 13, in order to liquidate before the crucial holiday season and maximize value.
The retailer was spun off from Sears Holdings in 2012.