Battered by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Montreal-based clothing retailer Reitmans announced Tuesday that it is seeking protection from its creditors in hopes of restructuring.
The Reitmans filing will be heard in Quebec Superior Court Tuesday, the company said, noting that the decision to do so was made unanimously by its board of directors.
“Filing for protection under the CCAA (Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act) is truly the hardest decision we have had to make as an organization in our almost one hundred years of history, but this pandemic has left us no choice – we believe that this is the only course of action to ensure we remain successful in the future,” Stephen Reitman, president and CEO of Reitmans, said in a statement Tuesday.
“We will dedicate ourselves to the restructuring of our business,” Reitman added, noting that despite widespread store closings due to public health orders across the country “loyal customers … have been shopping on our websites at a record pace since the start of the pandemic.”
Reitmans will reopen its 576 stores – under the Reitmans, Penningtons, RW & Co., Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners – as permitted by various public health orders across the country, the company said.
Reitmans employs some 6,800 people across Canada.
Reitmans is also in talks with lenders for permanent financing upon exit from the restructuring process, and is seeking an order from the Quebec Superior Court to postpone its annual general meeting of shareholders.
“The retail landscape has been in constant flux over the past several years, resulting in the evolution of consumer behaviour and purchasing patterns,” the company noted, adding it has implemented what it called “a successful digital-first strategy” and other initiatives to drive growth in the changing environment.
Reitmans boasted in January 2011 that it had 968 locations across seven banners, including 158 Smart Set and 22 Cassis stores.
In October 2011, the company announced it would close the Cassis stores and convert many to its other banners. The Cassis brand, which was aimed at women over 40 years old, accounted for less than two per cent of the company’s total annual sales, Reitmans said in a statement announcing the closures.
A little over three years later, in November 2014, Reitmans decided to close its Smart Set banner over the next 12 to 18 months. It planned to convert 76 locations to other banners and close 31 outlets. Smart Set sales accounted for about 10 per cent of the company’s annual sales.
Reitmans converted some of those Smart Set locations to a new brand, Hyba — the company’s activewear line. However, by March 2018, the company said it would close all 17 Hyba stores by Feb. 2, 2019. It planned to continue selling the line at Reitmans stores, as well as online. Hyba stores accounted for less than two per cent of the company’s annual sales, it said.
In announcing the CCAA filing, Reitmans noted the impact of the pandemic has changed the retail landscape even more.
“However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of all retail stores, and pushed the retail industry into a new and unknown era.”
On May 8, another Montreal-based fashion retailer, Aldo, announced it would be seeking protection from its creditors.
A list of some other Canadian companies that have filed for court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act since the beginning of the pandemic:
May 15: Entrec Corp. (Transportation)
May 8: Flighthub Group Inc. (Travel)
April 22: Dominion Diamond Mines ULC (Mining)
April 14: Delphi Energy Corp. (Energy)
March 31: CannTrust Holdings Inc. (Cannabis)
– The Canadian Press contributed to this report
Russia's Energy Minister Sees Shortage In Oil Market Next Month – OilPrice.com
Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak is predicting a shortage in the oil market next month, Ifax reported on Thursday.
Novak said that the global oil markets could see a shortfall between three and five million barrels per day in July, depending on the outcome of the OPEC meeting that could be held yet this week.
The meeting that will help shape the future of the oil market over the next few months is proving difficult, however, even though it would appear that Saudi Arabia and Russia have reached an agreement in principle to extend the current level of cuts through the end of July.
The cuts are currently set to ease starting in July.
But negotiations among the cartel members are complex, with Iraq, Angola, Nigeria, and Kazakhstan overproducing—a bone of contention with more fastidious members such as Saudi Arabia.
OPEC+’s compliance reached 89% in May. OPEC’s second largest producer, Iraq, reached only 42% compliance, based off of preliminary data. While Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to extend the cuts at least for another month, they are not interested in doing so unless Iraq and the other overproducers bring their production in line with the given quotas.
OPEC+ quotas call for total cuts of 9.7 million bpd. Oil demand, however, is still off by 21 million bpd as of May, according to Novak. But that’s up from 25-28 million bpd off in April.
Novak added that the filling up of oil storage has slowed, and that thanks to the current production cuts and the improving demand figures so far, the market should achieve balance in June, before slipping into a deficit in July.
Based on May’s production, OPEC has another 1 million barrels to cut to get into full compliance with the current deal.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.
CPA Canada hit by cyberattack, affecting data of more than 329000 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, June 4, 2020 4:15PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 4, 2020 5:41PM EDT
TORONTO – A cyberattack on the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada website has affected the personal information of more than 329,000 members and stakeholders, the organization said.
The information includes names, addresses, emails and employer names, but passwords and credit card numbers were protected by encryption, CPA Canada said.
It warned the data could be used in email phishing scams and encouraged those affected to “remain vigilant.”
The attack by “unauthorized third parties” occurred between Nov. 30 and May 1, according to an internal investigation carried out with the help of cybersecurity experts.
The organization said it beefed up its security measures and contacted the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and privacy authorities after learning of “a possible security incident” the week of April 20.
“Upon discovering this, CPA Canada took immediate steps to secure its systems and conduct a thorough analysis to determine what information may have been involved,” the group said in an email.
“There is no evidence that the encryption keys were affected in this incident and we have no reason to believe the encryption was compromised.”
The personal information relates mainly to the distribution of CPA Magazine and everyone affected has been notified, the organization said.
Hacks against a wide range of companies since 2018 have included medical test laboratory LifeLabs and credit union Desjardins, which combined saw the theft of the personal information of more than 19 million Canadians.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2020.
Canada's trade deficit doubled to $3.3B in April as COVID-19 walloped imports and exports – CBC.ca
Canada’s exports and imports plunged in April on falling oil prices and as the coronavirus pandemic shut down factories and retail stores, Statistics Canada said on Thursday, adding that the reopening of most auto assembly plants may help trade in the coming months.
“We are really getting hammered with respect to cars and crude,” said Peter Hall, chief economist at Export Development Canada.
Total exports fell 29.7 per cent to $32.7 billion in April, the lowest level in more than 10 years, and imports declined 25.1 to $35.9 billion, the lowest since February 2011, Statscan said.
The April trade deficit widened to $3.25 billion from a revised $1.53 billion in March, Statscan said, larger than the $2.36 billion forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Exports of energy products fell $3.6 billion, the largest decrease on record, Statscan said. Crude oil exports led the decline, plunging 55.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, exports of passenger cars and light trucks slumped 84.8, while imports plunged 90 per cent.
The slump in auto and energy exports because of shutdowns was also reflected in Canada-U.S. trade data, where total trade fell by $23.4 billion, representing more than 90 per cent of Canada’s trade activity decline. The neighbouring countries’ automotive and energy sectors are highly integrated.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and forced officials in Canada to shutter non-essential businesses and urge people to stay at home. In recent weeks, Canada’s 10 provinces have gradually begun to restart their economies.
“While some factories and retailers began to reopen in May, it’s likely to take until the June data to see any material signs of rebounding economic activity,” said Royce Mendes, a senior economist at CIBC.
“With the focus now shifting to the recovery stage, and with many economies gradually re-opening since May, the worst is hopefully in the rearview mirror,” TD Bank economist Omar Abdelrahman said.
The Canadian dollar extended its decline after the release of the data, falling to 73.88 cents US.
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