In cap­i­tal to close

323 peo­ple out of work

Ottawa Sun - - NEWS - And — With files from Postmedia Net­work

Shop­pers check out the bar­gains at Sears in the Car­ling­wood Mall yes­ter­day. It’s one of three area Sears that will be liq­ui­dated.

More than 300 Ot­tawans will be out of jobs from three lo­cal Sears stores after the com­pany an­nounced all its Cana­dian lo­ca­tions would close shop.

Sears Canada is seek­ing ap­proval to liq­ui­date its roughly 130 re­main­ing stores and put 12,000 em­ploy­ees out of work across the coun­try, in­clud­ing re­tail and dis­tri­bu­tion jobs.

The em­bat­tled de­part­ment store re­tailer, which sought pro­tec­tion from its cred­i­tors in June, said Tues­day it had failed to find a buyer that would al­low it to con­tinue op­er­at­ing.

Ottawa’s lo­ca­tions in­clude Sears at Car­ling­wood Mall, which has 133 em­ploy­ees, Sears Home Store at Pinecrest Mall, which has 36 em­ploy­ees, and a third lo­ca­tion at St. Lau­rent Shop­ping Cen­tre, which has 154 em­ploy­ees.

The liq­ui­da­tion sales would likely be­gin Oct. 19 and last 10 to 14 weeks, said a spokesman.

Out­side the Car­ling­wood Sears on Wed­nes­day, re­ac­tion was mixed.

“It’s pretty sad,” said Mau­reen McCann, who was shop­ping at the store with her sis­ter Peggy. “It was around for all our years grow­ing up, and it was al­ways a place where I shopped.”

“We had ac­counts with Sears since we were teenagers,” added Peggy, “and we bought ev­ery­thing here — fur­ni­ture and ap­pli­ances — and it is kind of sad. We’re kind of sur­prised that it’s Sears clos­ing and not The Bay, which is a lit­tle more pricey. But in the last few years, the ser­vice (at Sears) did go down.

“They used to stand be­hind their prod­ucts all the time, and then we started hav­ing trou­ble. That must have been a sign.”

Car­leton Place res­i­dent Sandy Roesler, a house­cleaner, was at Sears on Wed­nes­day to scoop up bags for her Ken­more vac­uum clean­ers and to find out where she’d be able to pur­chase them in the fu­ture. Ken­more is Sears’s store brand for ap­pli­ances.

“I grew up with this store and I re­ally like their prod­ucts,” she said. “It’s sad that so many peo­ple are los­ing their jobs, but also what Sears has done for the com­mu­nity, like the chil­dren’s hospi­tal and other places they do­nate to in the city.”

Heather Hopewell, who worked in the cos­met­ics de­part­ment of the Car­ling­wood Sears for two years, after eight years at the Rideau Cen­tre lo­ca­tion un­til it closed in 2012, said she’s not sur­prised. “As a (former) em­ployee, I can tell you that the cus­tomer ser­vice was aw­ful. As a cus­tomer, if you need help, you can’t find any­body.”

Barry Na­ba­tian, a mar­ket re­search an­a­lyst, said the jobs lost in Ottawa will likely be ab­sorbed by com­pet­ing stores such as Mar­shalls, Wal­mart, and Loblaws.

Na­ba­tian ar­gued Sears was too slow to adapt to the mod­ern de­mands of shop­pers, who in­sist not just on an at­trac­tive re­tail space but a seam­less on­line shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

The court over­see­ing Sears Canada’s op­er­a­tions is set to hear a mo­tion Fri­day seek­ing ap­proval for the liq­ui­da­tion and wind­ing down of the busi­ness.

“The com­pany deeply re­grets this pend­ing out­come and the re­sult­ing loss of jobs and store clo­sures,” Sears Canada said in a state­ment on Tues­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.