Sears Canada began its liquidation sales at its remaining stores across the country Thursday, but many shoppers found the deals to be underwhelming.
While signs suggest discounts of 20 to 50 per cent off — with a note that exceptions apply — relatively few items at a Toronto store appeared to be offered at half off.
Some big ticket items such as snowblowers and treadmills were only 10 per cent off.
But dozens of shoppers still braved long check-out lines to make their purchases as Sears prepares to shut its doors for good after 65 years in business.
A joint-venture group — which includes Hilco Global, Gordon Brothers Canada, Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group — is running the liquidation sales at 74 remaining department stores and eight Home stores.
Discounts are available on all Sears's own brands, including Kenmore, as well as brand name men's and women's apparel, and a variety of other categories including home decor, toys, furniture, and major appliances.
"Selected fixtures, furnishings and equipment in the closing stores will also be for sale," said the joint-venture group.
Sears Canada gift cards will be honoured throughout the sale as well, the group said. However, Sears Canada stopped honouring extended warranties as of Wednesday.
Liquidation sales at 49 Sears Hometown stores were expected to start Thursday, or sometime soon, but discounts there will vary, according to Sears Canada spokesman Joel Shaffer.
Some items are also listed for clearance on the Sears Canada website, including a four-piece outdoor furniture set discounted from $499.99 to $299.95. However, not everything online has been marked down just yet.
The sales are expected to last between 10 to 14 weeks. Sears Canada timed its liquidation sales to take advantage of the busy holiday shopping season to maximize the value it could attain for the inventory.
The retailer has been in creditor protection since June, but was unable to find a buyer which would allow it to keep operating.
Sears Canada received court approval to proceed with its liquidation sales last week. A group led by its executive chairman Brandon Stranzl had been in weeks-long discussions with Sears Canada to purchase the retailer and continue to operate it. However, no deal was reached.
Stranzl resigned from Sears Canada's board of directors on Monday.