Competition has been increasing for the Canadian department store, Sears, and the retailer has been struggling to keep up. Late this summer, the company announced plans to lay off 245 employees in Toronto at their head office and have already sold leases for stores in Yorkdale Mall, Square One and in Vancouver’s Pacific Centre. Closing some of the company’s largest locations was apart of a three-year turnaround plan. Their goal was to reduce employees and lower expenses in order to improve overall business.
In the past, the Canadian department store has made many unsuccessful attempts to revamp their image. In 2011, Sears collaborated with the Kardashians to offer customers an exclusive clothing & accessory line, the Kardashian Kollection. The collection is still available but continues to fail at enticing shoppers. In an attempt to stay relevant and hip, Sears began offering high-end labels earlier this year such as Rolex, Chanel, Zac Posen and more on their e-commerce site, confusing shoppers and contrasting sharply with their sales of home appliances.
This morning Sears Canada announced that they will be selling the leases on 5 more of their locatons; their flagship location in the Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens, Markville Shopping Centre, London-Masonville Place, and the Richmond Centre in Richmond B.C. It’s estimated that 965 employees will be affected by the transactions.
Sears will vacate most of the malls by February 28, 2014 and will vacate all of the said locations before February 28, 2015. Some locations have since been picked up by the American high-end department store, Nordstrom. They will use the spaces to launch their first stores in Canada. For now, Sears will continue to operate from their headquarters in the offices of the Eaton Centre.
With new department stores coming to Canada such as Nordstroms and Saks Fifth Avenue, what do you think the final verdict for Sears will be? Do you think they still have a chance to redeem themselves?