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

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch 94-year-old in Saanich earns permanent Canadian residency

Couple of 45 years to stay together in Cadboro Bay

Ron MacDonnell leans over the railing on Beacon Wharf Tuesday afternoon. The Town of City is currently looking into the future of the aging structure. It could make way for a concrete pontoon once part of the floating bridge over Hood Canal in Washington State. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney explores public-private partnership for iconic Beacon Wharf

Wharf committee recommends town invite pontoon company to submit proposal

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is shown during a news conference in Ottawa in 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
Isolating provinces is a bad idea, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce

National business organization calls for cohesive approach to COVID-19 measures

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Most Read