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The owner of Liquidation World is U.S. based Big Lots and on Dec 6, 2013, they announced that they are closing down their Canadian Operation.   Their stores will not be sold but will be closed - 73 stores under the Liquidation World brand and 5 under the Big Lots brand will be closed by February 2014 as well as their Canadian headquarters and two distribution centres.  1600 workers across Canada will lose their jobs. There is a Liquidation World store in Cobourg at the corner of Division and King (Called LW - Everybody's Outlet Store) and it was planned that a Big Lots store would go into the Mall in one of the spots planned to replace the Zellers space. Both of these will be gone.

Liquidation World CobourgIn their report on third quarter results, Big Lots said:

As our new management team develops a comprehensive, long-range strategic plan, we have been conducting a detailed evaluation of our current operations and business prospects. As part of this evaluation and after careful exploration of available options, we have decided to exit the unprofitable Canadian market, where we currently operate 73 stores under the Liquidation World or LW brand names, 5 stores under the Big Lots brand name, 2 distribution centers, and an office. We intend to begin an orderly wind-down process immediately and expect that principal operations will cease during the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

We acquired a struggling Canadian business in July 2011 with the intention of revitalizing it and using it as the base for bringing extreme value merchandising and the Big Lots brand to customers in Canada. Over the last two years, we have invested in this business and our team in Canada has worked diligently to turn it around. However, we have not been able to gain the necessary traction in the Canadian marketplace that had originally been anticipated and believe that the significant further capital investments and execution risk associated with continuing to pursue a turnaround would not be in the best interests of our company and shareholders. While the strategic and financial rationale supporting this decision is clear, we regret the impact that the closings will have on our associates, our customers and the communities in Canada where our stores, distribution centers, and office are located. We are committed to exiting our operations in a thoughtful and deliberate manner in order to minimize disruption for our associates and customers.

There is already a lot of competition in this category so it's not surprising but it's not good to have even less store frontage occupied in downtown Cobourg and it does not bode well for the "Zellers space" project.

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