The Sears store at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in Abbotsford is one of 59 locations that will be closing across Canada, it was announced on Thursday. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

The Sears store at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in Abbotsford is one of 59 locations that will be closing across Canada, it was announced on Thursday. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Sears closure in Abbotsford affects 69 employees

Retailer announces location to be among 59 shutting down across Canada

A total of eight full-time and 61 part-time employees at the Abbotsford Sears store will lose their jobs after Sears Canada announced Thursday that the location is one of 59 closing across Canada and the only one in the Lower Mainland.

An exact date for the Abbotsford store closure is not known, but a spokesman said “the liquidation is expected to occur over the coming weeks and months.”

The company announced that it will close more than half of its store locations across the country, amid seeking court protection and restructuring its company.

This will impact 2,900 employees, the retailer said in a statement.

In B.C., the retailer will close its doors in Grand Forks, Kamloops, Sechelt, Creston and Abbotsford.

More than 10 stores will be closed in Alberta, including its Calgary, Spruce Grove and Red Deer locations.

Of the 59 closures, 20 are full-line locations, 15 are Sears Home stores, 10 – including the one at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in Abbotsford – are Sears Outlet stores, and 14 are Sears Hometown locations.

Abbotsford previously had a Sears Home store on Sumas Way, but that was replaced last year by a Leon’s Furniture location.

The Sears store in Sevenoaks Shopping Centre opened in 1999, becoming a Sears Outlet location in the last couple of years.

Shares in the company were halted Thursday morning, after the retailer announced it would be seeking protection from its creditors.

Within the last year, the retailer has lost more than 80 per cent of its value.

Just last week, the company warned there was “significant doubt” about its future, and that putting it up for sale or undergoing a restructuring could happen.

The retailer said that restructuring will happen in a “timely fashion” with a goal of exiting the CCAA (Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act) protection within the year.

Approximately 17,000 people are employed through Sears Canada, which opened in 1952. The retailer had 95 full-size department stores and 23 Sears Home stores as of April.