Judge OKs revised Sears Canada bonus plan to keep key staff through liquidation

Seras Logo

TORONTO — An Ontario judge has approved Sears Canada’s request for a revised retention bonus plan for key head office staff and store managers who stay through its liquidation process.

The number of people covered by the retention plan for head office executives and staff has dropped to 36 from 43, and the amount that could be paid under that plan has dropped to $2.8 million from $3.9 million.

Under the revised plan, the key head office employees can earn their bonuses if they stay with the company until next March or April, depending on the person.

Before granting the company’s request, Justice Glenn Hainey got assurances that there are no additional funds being approved beyond the $7.6 million that was originally approved for head office bonuses shortly after Sears got court protection.

The original plan also included $1.6 million in potential bonuses for managers of stores that were slated to close.

That money has essentially been used up but Sears Canada told the court that it will divert some of the unused executive bonuses to pay bonuses for the remaining store managers who stay until their locations are closed.

The retailer currently has 74 full department store locations, eight Sears Home Stores and 49 Sears Hometown stores, which all face closure.

Wednesday is the last day Sears Canada will honour extended warranties as the retailer prepares to start liquidation sales Thursday.

Sears Canada said earlier this week that only customers who bought a protection agreement within the past 30 days could get refunds from paying for extended coverage.

It said most merchandise it sells comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, which will be available to customers directly from the manufacturers.

The company said it still looking for a buyer for its repair business, but it’s not know if a sale will go through or under what terms the repair service would operate.

Sears Canada also finds itself in court again Wednesday to approve retention bonuses for key employees to oversee the liquidation of the company.

The Canadian Press