Sears Canada raises doubt about ability to continue, posts $144.4-million loss

Sears Canada is in trouble.   Getty Images

The company's shares closed at 86 cents.

Sears Canada, much like Sears Holdings, now its fourth-largest shareholder, has struggled for years to remain relevant to shoppers who have switched to stores that keep up with fast-changing fashion trends.

The company's executive leadership has been a veritable revolving door, having gone through several changes over the last four years.

Hundreds of employees at Metro Vancouver Sears Canada stores and thousands more across the country are on edge today following the latest bit of bad news. Sears said the drop was due in part to a planned reduction in catalogues due to lower customer demand.

Last week, rival Hudson's Bay Co. Same-store sales increased 2.9% year-over-year.

Sears Canada Inc. announced its first quarter results for 2017, with significant declines and liquidity issues raising doubt about the company's future.

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Sears Canada says it had expected to able to borrow $175 million, but now expects to borrow only about $109 million. It said it also lacks other assets, such as real estate, that can be monetized in a timely manner.

Tuesday said it is seeking a possible sale or restructuring of its operations, as the company raised "significant" doubt on whether it can continue as a going concern.

Spokesman Vincent Power said in an email it's not clear yet whether there will be any layoffs at the company, which had about 16,000 employees as of the quarter ending April 29.

Sears Canada ended the first quarter with cash of C$164.4 million compared to C$235.8 million at the end of the fourth quarter past year.

A Sears Canada outlet is seen Tuesday, June 13, 2017 in Saint-Eustache, Quebec.

The annual meeting which was earlier set for Wednesday has been postponed because of the financial situation.

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