SAAN looking to close doors of some stores Future of local outlet not known

Facing financial troubles, SAAN Stores Ltd. has gone into receivership and currently is undergoing a reorganization process that includes the liquidation of all of its stock and the closing of some of its stores.
It is not known yet if the Fort Frances store will be among those closed.
SAAN spokesperson Greg Crombie said Thursday morning from Toronto that no decisions have been made yet regarding any closures.
“It’s still early in the process,” he said. “But the first people we’ll tell will be the operators and the employees.”
Crombie added the process of identifying stores for closure will be complete by the end of March.
In the meantime, SAAN has engaged the services of an agent to liquidate its inventory by the end of March, with store-wide sales at all of its locations, including the one here on Scott Street.
The inventory sale plan is an important part of the restructuring process, the company reported.
“[It is] the only realistic method available to quickly realize upon SAAN’s inventory, allowing the company to use the balance of the monies received from the sale to continue the business and to put forward a plan of compromise and arrangement to affected creditors,” it noted.
Once the inventory has been sold, and SAAN decides which stores it intends to keep operating, the company will restock all these “go-forward stores” with new merchandise for sale starting in April.
The company reported on its website that it is re-evaluating its retail locations, with the aim to “reduce the number of its stores, reduce its current number of employees, and re-focus its operations in those markets where it can be successful and profitable.”
The company has said it aims to retain a significant number of store locations, retain a number of employees, and preserve a number of important trade creditor and supplier relations for “going-forward operations.”
“SAAN’s focus and priority through this restructuring process is to emerge as a viable competitor in the discount department store sector,” the company said.
“The goal is for SAAN to emerge as a strong and re-energized brand, with a national store and distribution network, committed to its deeply-rooted and loyal customer base and the security of its dedicated employees,” it added.
“It will be a challenging and sometimes very difficult undertaking to revitalize the SAAN heritage and reputation for providing value to communities and consumers across Canada.”
The company also noted the historical deterioration in SAAN sales and profitability.
“The financial performance of SAAN has been impaired by penetration into its markets, including its core rural markets, by competitors such as Wal-Mart and Giant Tiger, and the resultant change in consumer shopping patterns,” it said.
“These changes in the Canadian retail dynamic are a primary factor in the significant deterioration in sales and profitability experienced by SAAN over the last six years of poor financial performance,” it added.
SAAN has accumulated net losses over this last six-year period, combined with year-to-date losses, in excess of $47.7 million, earning net profits in only two of the last six years.

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