Sears Canada is reportedly interested in selling its 27 store leases in the province of Quebec. Sources say that these stores could be sold if Sears receives advantageous offers from landlords, similar to deals made in English Canada. Although Nordstrom entered the Canadian market through Sears lease purchases, we don’t believe Nordstrom will take any of the Quebec leases.
Company spokesperson, Vincent Power, says that Sears will consider selling leases back to mall landlords if the lease sale prices are in excess of the estimated profitability of a Sears store over 20 years. Sources tell us that talks are already under way for several of these Sears stores, and that La Maison Simons could be close to securing one of the Sears store locations.
Since April 2012, Sears Canada has sold back 11 of its store leases to mall landlords for a total of about $762 million. The sale of the first four Sears stores paved the way for Nordstrom’s entry into the Canadian market. Sears has since sold back more leases paving the way for even more Nordstrom stores, as well as a La Maison Simons store in suburban Toronto.
A source familiar with the company tells us that Nordstrom currently has no plans to expand by opening stores in the Province of Quebec, at least for now. Nordstrom turned down our request to interview its Canadian President, Karen McKibbin, on this subject.
Industry sources say that talks are already in place between landlords and Sears Canada to sell off more store leases. We’ll keep you updated as Sears Canada continues to liquidate its assets.