Sears’ holiday sales are in peril as suppliers from GE Appliances to Serta Simmons demand they return millions of dollars of goods

  • GE Appliances, Electrolux, Serta Simmons Bedding, and more than two dozen other suppliers have demanded that Sears return millions of dollars in goods that were shipped to the company in the 45 days leading up to its bankruptcy filing.
  • The suppliers are prohibiting Sears from selling the items, which could severely impact the retailers’ holiday sales.
  • Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.

Major Sears suppliers including GE Appliances, Electrolux, and Serta Simmons Bedding are demanding that the retailer immediately return their inventory of refrigerators, washers, dryers, mattresses, and other goods.

The companies are demanding the return of inventory shipped to Sears and Kmart stores in the 45 days before Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy, saying that Sears knew it was insolvent at the time of the shipments, according to court filings.

Serta Simmons Bedding is asking for the return of $US1.8 million in goods. GE Appliances and Electrolux did not disclose the value of the inventory they are requesting.

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More than two dozen other suppliers have demanded the return of their inventory as well, including the snack-food maker J.M. Smucker Company and the power-tools manufacturer Great Lakes Technologies. The value of the inventory requested is more than $US500,000 in several cases.

In letters sent to Sears, many of these suppliers have prohibited the retailer from selling, disposing, or using any of the reclaimed goods. That could severly impact Sears’ sales during the critical holiday season.

Sears filed for bankruptcy in October, after years of closing stores and selling off assets amid crippling sales declines.