Sears to Leave Sherway Gardens Mall

4 years ago Dorothy Morris Comments Off on Sears to Leave Sherway Gardens Mall

Besides all the construction currently under way to expand the retail space of Etobicoke’s Sherway Mall, there was another big announcement this week.  Sears Canada announced the closing of a number of their stores in prime locations, including both Sherway and the downtown Toronto Eaton’s Centre.  Even though they don’t own the real estate, the struggling retailer has the opportunity to resell their future interests in long-term anchor tenant leases with the mall owners for millions of dollars.  Looks like it might be a better choice for Sears to just sell the leases than try to make the same money from on going operations.

Sears arrived at Sherway in 2000, taking over the store space previously occupied by Eatons, as they shutdown.  There are some conflicting reports out about how soon Sears may be moving out.  Some reports state they may vacate as soon as February of 2014, allowing just enough time to complete their Christmas season and boxing-week sales! Another possibility is that they remain until early 2015. Of course Sears will continue to be in business in Canada, so they can re-allocate merchandise to their other locations, without having to go through massive inventory selloffs, they way we have recently seen with the closing of Zellers stores, to make way for the entry of Target to Canada.

So, the big question for Etobicoke remains, what business concept will move into the Sears space at Sherway Gardens?  Nordstrom has already committed to the new space being built on the north-side of the mall.  Other possible brands that are planning Canadian expansions are Bloomingdales and Saks 5th Avenue.  This will certainly have an effect of continuing to see Sherway move into the up-market fashion segment.  This will make Sherway Gardens an even more significant regional mall, as a destination for shoppers looking for the higher-end retail experience.

All this is good for other Etobicoke area malls, that occupy different market segments.  Cloverdale Mall, with its affordable priced Target store and the scattering of other big box retailers to the north of Sherway can benefit from the increased traffic from further away.