Sears Canada has submitted a legal motion to an Ontario Superior Court asking for approval to begin the liquidation of 45 stores slated for closure.
In the court documents, still to be approved, it's reported that Sears plans to start the liquidation process as early as July 21 and finish the process by October 12 of this year.
Last month, Sears Canada filed for court protection and announced plans to shutter 59 stores and lay off 2,900 employees nationwide in a restructuring effort. While 59 stores are slated for closure, 14 of these are Hometown dealer stores, which are independently owned and operated and thus will be allowed handle their own liquidation. The remaining 45 stores will use third-party liquidators to handle their closing sales.
Regardless of whether the liquidation is being carried out independently, or by a third-party, most stores -- with the exception of 3 Hometown stores which ended agreements with Sears before restructuring -- must follow a strict list of guidelines, according to the motion. These guidelines lay out how the liquidation sales are to be conducted across closing locations, and include some of the following specifications:
- All signage must be professionally produced and no handwritten signs are allowed.
- Neon and "day-glow" signs, giant balloons, flashing lights, and amplified sounds are not allowed.
- Signs must be posted at cash registers notifying customers that all sales are final.
- Advertising "everything on sale", "everything must go", or "store closing" is allowed.
- Advertising "bankruptcy", "liquidation", or "going out of business" is not allowed.
- Stores can also sell furniture, fixtures, and equipment owned by Sears.
The guidelines also state that stores must work with their landlords in case they have any further requests or guidelines regarding how each store handles the liquidation process.
There are no guidelines stating what type of deals will be offered, or what percentage the discounts will start at once liquidation begins in stores, so shoppers will have to wait until the process officially starts to see what kind of deals will be available.