Regulator investigating possible Sears Canada liquidation sale prices markups

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

The Bay Hotel burned to the ground last night (Christina Hoppe photo)
Bay Hotel burns to the ground in early morning fire

The building was abandoned and had been falling apart for years

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

So far Northern Lights Wildlife Society has received five grizzly bear cubs from Bella Coola this year (NLWS photo)
Another sow grizzly destroyed; two more cubs sent to Northern Lights Wildlife Society

A total of five grizzly bear cubs have been sent to Northern Lights Wildlife Society from Bella Coola

Logs are piled up at West Fraser Timber in Quesnel, B.C., on April 21, 2009. West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. has signed a deal to acquire Norbord Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at $4.0 billion.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
West Fraser Timber to acquire Norbord in all-stock deal valued at $4B

Shareholders are being offered 0.675 of a West Fraser share for each Norbord share

The 4.1 magnitude earthquake detected on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, is shown in pink. (Earthquakes Canada)
4.1 magnitude earthquake detected near Haida Gwaii

Event happened about 40 kilometres southwest of Village of Queen Charlotte

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Most Read