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Court approves Target's liquidation

Retailer will begin knocking down prices starting Thursday

Shoppers can expect their local Target Canada stores to begin knocking down prices starting Thursday, after the retailer received court approval to liquidate its stock.

The company got the go ahead following a hearing Wednesday involving dozens of lawyers representing the retailer, landlords and suppliers.

Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said discounts will take up to 30 per cent off regular prices.

Already many Target stores have stopped carrying perishables like milk, eggs and frozen foods, Snyder said.

The company is still clearing product out of its distribution centres, she added.

The court had yet to decide late Wednesday whether Target can begin the sales of its real estate assets.

The retailer and its liquidator have argued that it needs to sell the properties immediately to keep its speedy exit from the Canadian market on schedule for mid-May.

Landlords were concerned that Target's liquidation sales would tarnish the image of their malls and take away business from other stores who are renting space.

"I think all parties are exaggerating,'' Ontario Superior Court Justice Geoffrey Morawetz said.

"And I mean that quite sincerely.''

In addition to its remaining inventory, Target's shelving, fixtures and equipment will also be sold.

The U.S.-based retailer announced last month that it would close all 133 of its Canadian stores and lay off more than 17,000 staff, just two years after it began opening stores in Canada.

Some of those reductions have already happened at its Toronto headquarters where its 770 person staff has been reduced to about 80 people, Snyder said.

The company took over old Zellers locations and began to open under the Target banner in Canada for the first time in March 2013, but failed to deliver on customer expectations.

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