On October 11, we reported that the now defunct Sears Canada announced plans to liquidate its remaining 150 stores instead of restructuring, the latest admission of brick and mortar defeat in the war with Amazon, with the result some 12,000 job losses in the coming weeks. The Canadian version of Sears is the latest victim of department-store decline that’s swept North America as shoppers gravitate online. While the retailer has dabbled in pop-up stores and e-commerce, its distribution centers aren’t as automated as Amazon.com Inc. or even Canadian peer Hudson’s Bay Co., which last year opened its own robotic facility to accelerate online orders.
For thousands of soon to be unemployed Sears Canada workers and retirees the future of their pensions remains in limbo: Sears Canada has 18,000 retirees and beneficiaries whose monthly pensions its has to address. A motion was filed in August for a windup of the plan, which would require the company to pay the full C$266.8 million deficit, according to the filing. That motion has been postponed until at least Nov. 30.
There is also the question of what happens to all the local malls that suddenly find themselves without 150 anchor tennants. The Sears bankruptcy comes two years after Target’s liquidation left a hole in many of the country’s malls, which made it tougher for Sears Canada to find buyers for its real estate and leases.
What there is zero confusion about however, is what happens to liquidating stores once their employees – aware their termination is imminent – lose all interest in even pretending to keep up an appearance of normalcy.
The answer is shown in the following video from Vtography, which was taken in the Fairview Mall in Toronto on October 22, 2017, and which captures the chaos from a liquidation sale at, well, liquidating Sears Canada. All that’s missing from the post-apocalyptic scenes are the zombies.