Sears Canada Inc. has chose to shut its doors and is seeking approval to liquidate its roughly 130 remaining stores - leaving another 12,000 employees across the country without a job.
Weighed down by over C$1.1 billion ($879 million) in liabilities, nearly matching its assets, and falling sales every quarter since it was spun off from Sears Holdings in 2012, Sears Canada filed for creditor protection in June. Executive chairman Brandon Stranzl had been working on a bid to save the company but has so far been unsuccessful. Last month, Sears Canada announced it would close an additional 10 stores.
The company said it made "exhaustive efforts" to try to turn around the business, but that "no viable transaction for the company to continue as a going concern was received".
The retailer now has approximately 12,000 employees, three-quarters of which are part-time, Shaffer added.
"It is expected that liquidation sales at retail locations would commence no earlier than October 19 and continue for 10 to 14 weeks", the company said in a statement. About 75% of those employees are part-time workers, Sears said. 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.
Sears Canada has lost market share and struggled to remain relevant to shoppers who have switched to stores that keep up with fast-changing fashion trends.
The only takeover bid that offered some hope of keeping Sears Canada afloat failed, with creditors arguing liquidation would yield a better payout than to keep the company solvent.
"It's a sad day for us in retail, in many ways", he said.