|Sears Canada Comments on Competition Tribunal Order|
TORONTO, Apr 01, 2005 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Sears Canada Inc. (TSX: SCC) announced today that the Competition Tribunal has issued an order requiring the Company to pay an administrative monetary penalty of $100,000. The order relates to the Tribunal's previously announced conclusion that, in 1999, the Company advertised five all-season tire lines using regular price claims that, in the Tribunal's opinion, were not properly established. The Commissioner had sought a penalty of $500,000.
Separate from this penalty, the Company also agreed to pay $387,000 towards the Commissioner's legal costs. Sears Canada considered it important to defend its belief that these advertisements were not misleading to consumers, and in fact were fairly typical of tire retailing in 1999. The Company is disappointed with the Tribunal's conclusion and will determine its legal recourse. While the Tribunal found that Sears had engaged in "reviewable conduct" in 1999, the Tribunal did not find that consumers were harmed as a result of the regular selling price claims. The Tribunal concluded that an absence of consumer harm was not a relevant factor in the matter.
Sears takes pride in its trusted position in the Canadian retail market, and actively strives to provide all customers with quality products of superior value. Sears Canada wishes to assure the public and all stakeholders that the Company is committed to ensuring its advertising makes only valid claims and otherwise meets all legal requirements.
Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 122 full-line department stores, 218 off-mall stores, 64 home improvement showrooms, over 2,200 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 113 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.
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