Sears Canada announced today its plans to close three stores and return the lease to their commercial real estate developer and landlord, The Cadillac Fairview Corporation. The transaction is estimated to return $170 million to Sears Canada and close on or around April 20th, 2012.
"Overall, this is a very advantageous agreement for Sears Canada," said Calvin McDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sears Canada Inc. "While we had no plans to close stores, the transaction for these three specific locations provides an attractive financial benefit for the Company which strategically allows us to drive growth in areas which can be most beneficial. We are investing in a refresh of our stores and piloting new formats which will provide Canadians exciting ways to access Sears products and services. This is an opportunity for Sears Canada that fits well with our vision and where our strengths are as a retailer."
The three locations to be closed include the Vancouver Pacific Centre store, Calgary Chinook Centre store and the Ottawa Rideau Centre store. The store closures are expected to occur by October 31st, 2012. Sears Canada is planning to explore the potential of opening replacement stores in these three cities.
"Sears continues to execute its transformation strategy and remains focused on growing the business," continued Mr. McDonald. "We will continue to unveil new customer-focused strategies and events that demonstrate our resolve in being top of mind for shoppers across the country."
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For employees currently employed at these stores, Sears Canada is offering an opportunity to apply for positions at nearby Sears locations which could become available between now and October 31st.
"I want to acknowledge the effect that this announcement will have on some of our Sears associates. I appreciate the service they have given to Sears so far, and I thank them in advance for their assistance during the transition period ahead of us," said Mr. McDonald
Currently, Sears Canada operates a retail network of 196 corporate stores, 285 hometown dealer stores, 30 home services showrooms, over 1,700 catalogue merchandise pick up locations, and 108 Sears Travel offices.