As part of a promotion called "Play Lucky Lettings" Sears is trying to offload 135 properties. Some stores are the former Facia-owned outlets which returned to Sears after the stores group run by Stephen Hinchliffe, the Sheffield entrepreneur, collapsed into receivership.
Agents who acquire properties for clients can claim a free Sears chargecard with up to pounds 6,000 to spend. The amount depends on the shop's location. Sears is also offering cash payments and rent-free periods of up to six months. Sears denied it was a desperate measure. "It is something we have done for the past three years," a spokeswoman said. "Other retailers do it."
The company said it was a marketing initiative.
Sears is in the throes of a break-up process which will see the Selfridges department stores demerged next year while the Freemans mail order business is being sold to Littlewoods. A company doctor has been appointed to sort out the group's problematic footwear division.