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Sears store, Charlottetown
Globe and Mail reports the company will abandon flagship store at Toronto Eaton Centre plus four other outlets
Sears Canada Inc. says there are no changes planned for its retail store in Charlottetown.
The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday that the company will abandon its flagship store at the Toronto Eaton Centre along with four other outlets in a leaseback deal that will generate $400 million for the struggling retailer but raises questions about the fate of its revival efforts.
Sears, one of the country's largest merchants, said Tuesday it has a deal withy the stores' landlords to sell back five leases, with the stores in Toronto Eaton Centre and Sherway Gardens in Toronto and London-Masonville in London, Ont., to close by Feb. 28, 2014.
The chain's outlets in Markville Shopping Centre in Markham, Ont., and Richmond Centre in Richmond, B.C., will shut a year later.
The retailer had previously shut down two of its other stores in Ontario.
However, a spokesman with the national retailer says the changes will not impact Charlottetown.
"No changes in store planned for Charlottetown,'' Vince Power, corporate communications for Sears Canada Inc., told The Guardian in an email on Tuesday.
"We are pleased to have had a full-line store presence on the Island since 2005 and look forward to continued good business and community relations for the foreseeable future.''
Still, plenty is changing on the retail front in Charlottetown.
Just down the road, Target announced that its store at 670 University Avenue in the Charlottetown Mall will open Nov. 13. The Charlottetown Mall store will be one of 33 additional Canadian store locations opening in November. The cheap-chic Target Corp. is undertaking an ambitious launch in Canada after having bought most of Hudson's Bay Zellers leases in an $1.8-billion agreement.
Target is spending up to $12 million to transform the old Zellers into its first P.E.I. store. The store will feature more than 114,000 square feet and plans including hiring between 150 and 200 people. It will also feature a licensed Starbucks as well as an in-store pharmacy and grocery.
It's also quite obvious that something significant is happening next to the Charlottetown Mall, on the property that houses the new Sobey's store on Spencer Drive.
While the national retailer has not confirmed it, Canadian Tire is doing some site work with plans to build a new store next to Sobey's. A company spokeswoman told The Guardian recently that they can't confirm or deny plans to build a new store but that they would have something to say by January.
Canadian Tire has yet to apply to the City of Charlottetown for a building permit but has submitted preliminary design proposals.
If Canadian Tire moves on the project, it raises other questions in terms of Charlottetown's retail scene. What happens to the current Canadian Tire location and will a move on its part signal a move for the other two franchises it owns, Sport Chek and Mark's Work Wearhouse?