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Bankrupt Hart Stores to Close 32 Sites

The Quebec-based department store operator filed for bankruptcy in August.

Hart Stores Inc., which on Friday began closing 32 of its 92 stores in Eastern Canada, hired Tiger Capital Group to liquidate inventory at the sites being shuttered.

Daniel M. Kane, managing member of Tiger Capital, said he expects the liquidation sales to go on for eight to nine weeks.

“Many of the stores are in fairly remote areas of small towns with [a population of] 2,000 to 3,000. These types of sales are very good deals in the small towns,” Kane said.

Of the stores being liquidated, 12 are in Quebec, 11 in Newfoundland and Labrador, five in Ontario and two each in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Founded in 1960, Hart Stores petitioned for restructuring on Aug. 29 in a Quebec superior court under the Companies’ Creditor Arrangement Act. The midsize discount department store chain operates under the Hart, Bargain Giant and Géant des Aubaines nameplates. The retailer plans to restructure operations. The stores average 26,000 square feet.

According to bankruptcy court records, Hart owes 56.1 million Canadian dollars, or $55 million, to creditors. All conversions to U.S. dollars are at current exchange.

The retailer said on Sept. 13 that it posted a second-quarter loss of 922,000 Canadian dollars, or $904,604, versus a profit of 72,000 Canadian dollars, or $70,642, a year ago. Sales were down 15.7 percent to 38.7 million Canadian dollars, or $38 million, from 45.9 million Canadian dollars, or $45 million, a year ago.