Tag: sears canada

Attribution: Stu pendousmat at English Wikipedia

In a year where several retail mainstays have closed their doors or sought bankruptcy protection, it is still difficult to fully process today’s news. A few hours back, it was announced that Sears Canada would be closing its remaining stores. The company had sought bankruptcy protection a few months back and shuttered 59 locations at that time. The plan was to come up with a solution that would keep the company solvent and those remaining stores in business.

Unfortunately, it looks like that will not be the case. The closure announcement is especially sad for the 12,000 employees who are remaining after the previous round of closures and layoffs. The retail landscape has changed dramatically in the past few years and it is clear we are not done yet. When a giant like Sears Canada can no longer make a go of it, you know things have really turned a corner.

You may have experienced this feeling a few years back when Eaton’s, another Canadian retail behemoth, met a similar fate and closed its doors. These major companies were such an ingrained factor of shopping in Canada, it is difficult to imagine that they are now both gone.

Shopping malls have also been suffering in the past few years. Several took a big hit a couple years back when Target Canada closed its doors, leaving several large retail spaces unoccupied. Sears is the anchor store at several Canadian malls, so this nightmare will be repeating itself all over again for the owners of these particular shopping malls.

In about 10 days time, the remaining Sears outlets will begin to liquidate their stock. This will continue on likely until the end of the year. So, on the plus side, if you are looking for a bargain on Christmas presents, you may not have to look too hard.

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It has been no secret that Sears is struggling. South of the border, the company’s American arm has had well-publicized issues for some time now. Sears Canada has also had its problems, though up until recently, the company has put on a brave front. In fact, the Sears here in Guelph just renovated its location and got a new sign. The company also launched its WTS (What the Sears?) campaign a few months back with banners and specials galore.

However, it all appears to have been for naught. CTV News reported today that Sears Canada is preparing to seek court protection from its creditors. The stock market reacted quickly and the company’s shares plummeted by 25% to 60 cents each. In April, Sears announced an operating loss of $321 million from 2016-2017.

For those of who grew up with department stores, it will be hard to imagine life without Sears. Eaton’s was another dominant force in Canadian retail that did not keep up with changing times and closed its doors a few years back. However, it seemed like that closure would benefit Sears as it now seemed to have that particular segment of the market to itself.

Of course, such thinking fails to take the internet into consideration. Shopping on your computer saves so much time and allows for such easy browsing and price comparison, fewer and fewer people have been making the trek out to their local malls in the past few years.

Where do you stand on the issue of department stores? Are you the type of person who likes to browse and try things on before you buy? Or are you happy with the convenience that online shopping provides? Click the comment button and let us all know!

The Sears in Markham, Ontario. By Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

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