After 65 years of business, iconic Canadian retailer Sears has officially closed this past Sunday, January 14th. Many locations began their liquidation sales in early October, locking their doors for good one by one. Customers shopped the last few locations still open this weekend across Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, by buying the remaining merchandise at 60-80% off. Lineups were long with shoppers scooping up the last of the clothing, sporting goods, household items and even fixtures and hangers from the store.
Sears has been a crucial anchor department store in Canada for many years. The closing will leave malls searching for new tenants to fill the large spaces and close to 12,000 employees looking for new work. In a statement online, Sears stated that “despite the outstanding efforts of dedicated associates across the Company, Sears Canada does not have the financial resources to provide it with the time necessary to complete its reinvention.” Large retailers in Canada have had a tough go, with department stores such as Zellars, Eatons, and Target previously forced to shut down business due to major debt and financial losses.
There has been no confirmation on what will replace the newly vacated spaces in malls across BC. According to Chek News, there is an overwhelming request from Vancouver Island residents for an Ikea to replace the Sears at Hillside Mall, but retail experts have said that the population is too small to entice the Swedish furniture store.
Many believe that more Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack stores will be an option for replacement, as the popular American company has seen significant success in Canada since its expansion. Others are guessing stores such as Cabella’s or Bass Pro Shop that recently opened at Tsawwassen Mills but so far it’s all just speculation.
Loyal customers of the 130 Canadian Sears locations are sad to see the retail mogul go, leaving behind fond memories and fair prices. Many will always remember receiving the Sears Wishbook Catalogue every Christmas and circling everything we were ready to request from Santa. Online shopping has been an incredible factor in the financial decline of brick and mortar stores, but companies are still seeing success by tapping into the right markets and delivering customers with a positive in-store experience.
“Sears Canada has a long and well-documented history of being a great place to shop and work. Sears thanks its customers for their loyalty and support since 1953,” said a Sears representative in a press release.
It’s safe to say that this is another example of a great Canadian retailer closing up shop. We’re definitley sad to see it go, but it’ll be exciting to see what big box retailer will soon take its place.
Images Provided by Claudia’s Images, Sears