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Sears Canada (1952-2017)

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Towered

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It mystifies me as to how they're still lingering on, just delaying the inevitable. Nobody shops there. They don't offer anything that can't be found elsewhere for better prices.
 

Skeezix

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As someone noted a few weeks ago in this thread, Sears is the only option other than Walmart in many towns and cities outside of Canada's larger urban centres.

And I suppose one can keep afloat for awhile selling assets and stripping the operations down to bare bones. It's not a recipe for long-term survival, mind you.

It's just sad. Not that long ago Sears Canada was a strong operation. But they (or, more particularly, Lambert) are authors of their own likely demise.
 

Bruno Republic

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Interestingly, the article has been rather drastically revised since it was first posted this morning. The headline now reads "Sears Canada eyes online revamp" and starts off with a bit about how they are planning a "digital turnaround", and implies they are aiming to the make the brick-and-mortar stores secondary to their online shop.
 

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It mystifies me as to how they're still lingering on, just delaying the inevitable. Nobody shops there. They don't offer anything that can't be found elsewhere for better prices.
Eaton's decline took decades to reach the inevitable end. Ironically, it was once they made a concerted effort to change that the steady decline turned into a freefall.
 

bcx

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Interestingly, the article has been rather drastically revised since it was first posted this morning. The headline now reads "Sears Canada eyes online revamp" and starts off with a bit about how they are planning a "digital turnaround", and implies they are aiming to the make the brick-and-mortar stores secondary to their online shop.
It's their best bet because we all know their retail operations cannot be salvaged. However, I doubt their online endeavours will be successful. Their usual demographic probably aren't too keen to shop online (especially for clothing) and if they try and revamp they are going up against Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart, all of which currently have better online operations and more experience.
 

Skeezix

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It's the same strategy they are pursuing in the States, and while it's an interesting strategy, in this case it's largely being driven by hedge fund managers. The problem they are facing in the U.S. is that the online operations are stagnant in part because people have a lot of online options and don't need to shop at a site they associate with ratty brick and mortar stores.
 
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airplane-dude

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As sad as there stores are, their online presence seems even worse.

I was helping my uncle online shop for a new smart tv. We checked out Bestbuy, Amazon, Costco and finally Sears.ca.

Sears had only THREE tv's listed on their whole site?! Not one was a major brand. It's been a while since I've been in a Sears store but I'm pretty sure they still sell Sony, LG, Samsung etc tvs do they not?

EDIT: They now have a grand total of one tv, made by Haier. Wow.
 

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gabe

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As sad as there stores are, their online presence seems even worse.

I was helping my uncle online shop for a new smart tv. We checked out Bestbuy, Amazon, Costco and finally Sears.ca.

Sears had only THREE tv's listed on their whole site?! Not one was a major brand. It's been a while since I've been in a Sears store but I'm pretty sure they still sell Sony, LG, Samsung etc tvs do they not?
I think they got rid of their electronics department. I was in a Sears recently and they didn't have any electronics.
 

Skeezix

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Saw this first on Retail Insider. Good news, in a manner of speaking. Basically, there is incentive to keeping Sears Canada alive so that they can get more money from surrendering any desirable leases they have left - in short, landlords won't give them money to give up leases if they think Sears is about to go belly up, but the landlords might be more willing to do so if it looks like Sears will hang on for awhile. Sears' cash position is good, given the ongoing fire sale, and if they keep cutting to the bone they may be able to hold out for awhile.

Really, such a sad turn of events for such a well-established retailer in Canada, when the best thing analysts can say is that there is some value in keeping the operations on life support so they can get cash to keep dismantling the chain, and that the chain can survive for awhile longer if they keep slashing away at the investment it would need to ever become a viable operation again.

Sears Canada not likely to die while it still has real estate to sell
Financial Post, 29 March 2016
 

bcx

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Saw this first on Retail Insider. Good news, in a manner of speaking. Basically, there is incentive to keeping Sears Canada alive so that they can get more money from surrendering any desirable leases they have left - in short, landlords won't give them money to give up leases if they think Sears is about to go belly up, but the landlords might be more willing to do so if it looks like Sears will hang on for awhile. Sears' cash position is good, given the ongoing fire sale, and if they keep cutting to the bone they may be able to hold out for awhile.

Really, such a sad turn of events for such a well-established retailer in Canada, when the best thing analysts can say is that there is some value in keeping the operations on life support so they can get cash to keep dismantling the chain, and that the chain can survive for awhile longer if they keep slashing away at the investment it would need to ever become a viable operation again.

Sears Canada not likely to die while it still has real estate to sell
Financial Post, 29 March 2016
What in-demand locations do they still have? Landlords will only buy back under-market leases if they are certain they have someone ready to move in.
 

Skeezix

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What in-demand locations do they still have? Landlords will only buy back under-market leases if they are certain they have someone ready to move in.
In the GTA, I'm guessing the Fairview and Limeridge stores are likely their best remaining locations. Maybe Mapleview? With Target's failure, there is a lot of empty space on the market, (mind you what's left is not all at desirable locations), and the economy is not exactly hot at the moment. If in 2 or 3 years, there are strong retailers (like Primark or something) looking for space in strong suburban malls, I suppose some mall owners might want to expand and gutting/demolishing/refurbishing/subdividing/repurposing the Sears store might be a means to that end. It all sounds dubious to me, but to the extent that the hedge fund managers in charge of Sears see ongoing value in the chain, maybe this is what they are grasping at. At least that's what the Financial Post thinks.
 
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officedweller

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Cadillac Fairview just announced it would redevelop the former Sears location at London's Masonville mall for some big box-ish tenants.
It's been 2 years since Sears moved out - so I guess they couldn't do a deal with Nordstrom or another department store.
Masonville also has a vacant Target location, so conceivably, Nordstrom could move in there if it is a better location within the mall.

Here's Retail Insider's analysis from 2013:
http://www.retail-insider.com/retai...3/10/analysis-sears-canada-sells-5-store.html

London speculation that Nordstrom would move in:
http://www.am980.ca/2013/10/29/sears-closing/

Masonville reno announcement:
http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2016/3/masonville

Plans for Cadillac Fairview's Richmond Centre Sears location (vacated a year ago) have also not been announced. Strangely silent.

Any word on the other location Sears sold back to Cadillac Fairview - Markville?
 
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Skeezix

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I can't imagine Nordstrom in London was ever seriously a thing. Cadillac might have tried flogging it to them, though.

Cadillac selling Promenade Mall is not a huge vote of confidence in that mall. Time will tell, though.
 

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