Sell­ing Sears

Court grants Cana­dian re­tail com­pany ap­proval to be­gin liq­ui­da­tion sales Fri­day

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - BY LINDA NGUYEN

Sears Canada has been given ap­proval to be­gin the liq­ui­da­tion sales Fri­day at the 59 lo­ca­tions it plans to close.

On­tario Su­pe­rior Court Judge Bar­bara Con­way ap­proved the mo­tion Tues­day.

Ear­lier in the day, Sears lawyer Jeremy Dacks said the com­pany wanted to start sales of its mer­chan­dise, fur­ni­ture, fix­tures and equip­ment as soon as pos­si­ble so it can “max­i­mize” ben­e­fits for its stake­hold­ers.

The liq­ui­da­tion sales will only oc­cur at the 59 stores that are set for clo­sure. They will be­gin Fri­day and run un­til Oct. 12, with the ma­jor­ity to be over­seen by a third-party liq­uida­tor.

Cur­rent em­ploy­ees in the stores pegged for liq­ui­da­tion will be asked to stay on the job un­til the sales are com­plete and the lo­ca­tions are shut down.

The be­lea­guered depart­ment store owner has been op­er­at­ing un­der court pro­tec­tion from cred­i­tors since June 22 when it an­nounced its plan to shut­ter 59 stores and cut ap­prox­i­mately 2,900 jobs.

Last week, On­tario Su­pe­rior Court Judge Glenn Hainey gave the com­pany the green light to be­gin the process of putting it­self up for sale. He also gave the re­tailer ap­proval to pay $9.2 mil­lion in re­ten­tion bonuses to ex­ec­u­tives and other key em­ploy­ees.

The pay­out was part of a com­pro­mise with re­tired em­ploy­ees that will see Sears Canada con­tinue mak­ing some ben­e­fit and pen­sion pay­ments to re­tirees un­til Sept. 30.

Founded in 1952, Sears Canada says it hopes to exit court pro­tec­tion as soon as pos­si­ble this year.

CP PHOTO/SEAN KIL­PATRICK

A Sears is shown in Ot­tawa on Thurs­day, June 22. Sears Canada has been given ap­proval to be­gin liq­ui­da­tion sales Fri­day at the 59 lo­ca­tions it plans to close. On­tario Su­pe­rior Judge Bar­bara Con­way ap­proved the mo­tion Tues­day.

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