The former executive chairman of Sears Canada says his plan to buy the big distressed retailer was well thought out, but the creditor protection process had a preference for winding up the business.
According to Brandon Stranzl, the creditors process, which began in June, was structured more as a sale than as a recovery from the start.
“Everyone wanted a continuation of exploitation solution that would have saved the jobs, but there were several obstacles and several rules that seemed to exist to oppose it,” he told reporters on Monday. ‘a press conference.
Stranzl has been talking to the retailer for several weeks in the hope of reaching an agreement to buy it back and continue operating, but no deal has been reached. Sears Canada began a liquidation sale on October 19 at its approximately 130 remaining stores across the country.
The retailer got a green light from an Ontario court earlier this October to move forward with full liquidation, a decision that will deprive 12,000 more employees of work.
The former executive indicated that the process, which took place under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), was structured in an “unusual” way, in part because the retailer reported significant losses. operating.
According to him, after he left management to focus on his takeover bid, there was no longer any leadership within the company to try to come up with a solution that would have allowed Sears to keep its open doors.
Stranzl, who resigned from Sears Canada’s board of directors on Oct. 16, said he was saddened by the plight of thousands of Sears Canada employees who have lost their jobs or will lose them soon.
“It left a very big hole and an injury in my own heart, and I feel very sorry for these people,” he said. “And I’ve spent a lot of time on this business and I really put all my heart and soul into it, so it’s very hard for me to see that sort of thing happen.”