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Canada's Retailers Struggle To Stay Afloat As Ricki's, Cleo, Bootlegger File For Bankruptcy Protection

Comark Inc., owner of Ricki's, Cleo, and Bootlegger, is closing 50 of 300 stores, following a string of other Canadian retail companies shutting their doors.

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Comark has been a Canadian staple for nearly 40 years

Comark Inc., founded in Mississauga in 1976, is the most recent Canadian retailer that's filed for bankruptcy protection. The group owns 153 Ricki's, 101 Bootlegger, and 87 Cleo locations across the country, and will be closing 50 stores while it restructures.

A long list of embattled retailers

Comark is the latest in a long list of Canadian or Canada-based retailers that have closed stores recently. That list includes Jacob, Mexx, Bikini Village, Smart Set, Parasuco, and Target Canada.

Other retailers have been struggling in recent years, such as Le Chateau and Danier Leather. Sears Canada, which closed many stores across the country in the last two years, is still seeing a decline in revenues, due to the aforementioned closures, as well as weak sales.

Why can't Canadian retailers make a buck?

According to Statistics Canada, retail spending is up from this time last year in all sectors, from clothing to general merchandise, so it's difficult to understand why Canadian retailers are filing for bankruptcy.

While spending may be up, these dollars could be going to heavy hitters with discount prices like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21. That paired with a weakening economy could mean even more closures in 2015.

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