Regulator investigating possible Sears Canada liquidation sale prices markups

Liquidations sales began in October

The Competition Bureau is investigating allegations that prices on some merchandise were marked up ahead of the liquidation sales at Sears Canada that began last month, the court-appointed monitor overseeing the retailer says.

The monitor’s seventh report to Ontario Superior Court says the federal competition watchdog sent letters on Nov. 8 to the liquidators inquiring about the allegations that certain merchandise was marked up.

READ: Sears Canada to liquidate remaining stores

A Competition Bureau spokeswoman said Thursday that the agency can’t comment or confirm any ongoing investigation.

But under federal law, she wrote in an email, consumers should not be misled by references to inflated regular prices and ”doesn’t make any distinctions between retailers and liquidators or the nature of the promotional event.”

For example, Amazon.com.ca Inc. agreed in January to pay a $1 million penalty and $100,000 towards costs after the bureau determined the online retailer hadn’t verified the accuracy of “list price” information provided by its suppliers.

The bureau also works to achieve “voluntary” compliance with the act “through various types of communication to businesses or individuals in specific matters before, during and/or following an investigation.”

A spokesman for Sears Canada told The Canadian Press that the company didn’t have a comment about a CBC News report on Thursday that said it had spoken with a Sears Canada employee who said he was ordered to mark up prices shortly after liquidation sales began on Oct. 19.

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

A call and emails to one of the Sears Canada liquidators were not answered Thursday.

Sears Canada has been under court protection since June and began the process of liquidating its remaining stores in October after failing to find a buyer.

After the sales began, several customers posted pictures to social media suggesting prices had been raised.

The joint-venture group running the liquidation includes Hilco Global, Gordon Brothers, Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town of Stettler adopts 2020 tax budget

Rates were selected to accommodate the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic

Stettler Learning Centre nearing renovations completion

A grand opening for the new location is planned for this fall

Medical examiner: Floyd’s heart stopped while restrained

Medical examiner: Floyd’s heart stopped while restrained

More provinces moving to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions

More provinces moving to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions

Trudeau promises to speed $2.2 billion in funding for strapped cities

Trudeau promises to speed $2.2 billion in funding for strapped cities

Trudeau rejects Trump suggestion to readmit Russia to G7, citing Crimea invasion

Trudeau rejects Trump suggestion to readmit Russia to G7, citing Crimea invasion

Bird strike might have caused Snowbird crash, early investigation finds

Bird strike might have caused Snowbird crash, early investigation finds

‘Makes no sense:’ Woman can’t fathom why husband, uncle slain on hunting trip

‘Makes no sense:’ Woman can’t fathom why husband, uncle slain on hunting trip

Climate change behind increases in extreme rain danger: scientists

Climate change behind increases in extreme rain danger: scientists

Alberta introduces bill to create own parole board like Quebec, Ontario

Alberta introduces bill to create own parole board like Quebec, Ontario

Woman sentenced in toddler’s death says sorry to ‘every single person’ she hurt

Woman sentenced in toddler’s death says sorry to ‘every single person’ she hurt

‘Hate just hides’: Biden vows to take on systematic racism

‘Hate just hides’: Biden vows to take on systematic racism

Most Read