Burnaby’s retail landscape will look a lot different next year.
Sears Canada has received approval from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to close all of its remaining brick and mortar locations, including two department stores in Burnaby.
For more than a year, the company has been trying to reinvent itself to bring in more customers, but its efforts haven’t succeeded.
“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,” read a press release from the company.
Included in the closures are Burnaby’s Brentwood Town Centre and Metropolis at Metrotown stores. Currently, the Brentwood store employs 99 people, 80 of whom are part-time, while Metrotown has 122 workers (81 are part-time).
The company has until Jan. 22, 2018 to sell all of its remaining inventory, including furniture, fixtures and equipment. Sales are expected to start this Thursday, Oct. 19, and last about 10 to 14 weeks, according to the release.
Sears Canada first opened as Simpsons-Sears Ltd. in 1953. In June, Sears Canada received creditor protection so it could embark on a restructuring plan that included the closure of 20 full-line locations, 15 Sears home stores, 10 Sears outlets and 14 Sears hometown locations. The closures also resulted in an estimated 2,900 layoffs, according to the company.
Ivanhoe Cambridge, owner of Metropolis at Metrotown, would not comment when the NOW asked if the company has any plans for the space once Sears closes its doors for good.
Sears Canada sold its Metrotown property two years ago to the Concord Pacific Group of Companies as part of a three-property deal worth $140 million. The 8.9-acre site at 4750 Kingsway includes the Sears store, which was originally built in 1954, the space underneath where Toys R Us is located, surface and underground parking, loading facilities and the public plaza at the corner of Kingsway and Nelson Avenue.
Calls to Concord Pacific about any possible plans for the property have not been returned at this time.
Shape Properties, owner of Brentwood Town Centre, has yet to reply to the NOW’s interview request.
After Wednesday, Sears Canada will no longer honour Sears protection agreements. Refunds on protection agreements will be honoured for customers who’ve purchased them in the last 30 days. Manufacturer’s warranties will continue to be honoured, and customers will still be able to use Sears gift cards and redeem Sears Club points until the stores close, according to the company.