Analysis: Sears Canada's best remaining store locations

Southgate Centre, Edmonton. Photo: Darrell Bateman

Southgate Centre, Edmonton. Photo: Darrell Bateman

Sears Holdings announced on Wednesday that it may sell Sears Canada. The company still has several exceptional Canadian store locations, despite divesting most of its better leases. Finding one buyer for all of its stores will ultimately be difficult, as Sears Canada has a substantial number of arguably undesirable store locations. The company could end up selling off a few of its better stores, as it has done before, and we'll profile several of these locations. Ultimately, NordstromSaks Fifth Avenue and La Maison Simons could move into some of Sears Canada's remaining real estate.

Below, we'll profile several of Sears Canada's better locations and who could occupy them, moving west to east across the nation:

Vancouver/Lower Mainland: The proposed $1 billion redevelopment of Sears' Metropolis at Metrotown real estate is uncertain, and Sears Canada owns this location (and surrounding parking) outright. If redevelopment doesn't come to fruition, the existing 217,300 square foot Sears space could be redeveloped to include several retailers, including possibly Vancouver's second La Maison Simons store. Vancouver's first Simons store opens next year at West Vancouver's Park Royal.  

Sears also has a productive 122,000 square foot store at Richmond Centre. Sears sold Its Richmond lease in October of last year, however, and the store will close in February of 2015. 

Edmonton: Sears has two fairly high-profile Edmonton locations, the largest being at Southgate Centre. Spanning 234,000 square feet, this former Eaton's location could be reconfigured to include new retail, as well as possibly a new anchor store. Top contenders include Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, though not if West Edmonton Mall gets its way. West Edmonton Mall's 149,000 square foot Sears location is in the mall's original 'Phase I', which could be redeveloped to increase shopping traffic to that part of the mall. 

Calgary: Southcentre's 234,000 square foot Sears could be redeveloped, and La Maison Simons has been in talks with Oxford Properties. Simons typically seeks about 100,000 square feet for its new stores. If Sears sells this store, redevelopment could include multiple tenants as well as Simons.

Winnipeg: Polo Park's 263,000 square foot Sears store could be redeveloped to include multiple tenants, including a new anchor. Saks Fifth Avenue is highly unlikely, though Nordstrom and/or La Maison Simons are possible. 

Toronto: Most of Toronto's best Sears locations have been divested, including locations at the Toronto Eaton Centre, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Sherway Gardens, and at Mississauga's Square One. Several decent locations remain, including Sears stores at the Fairview Mall (149,500 sq ft) and a 173,600 square foot unit at the Promenade in Thornhill. 

Sears' former 816,000 square foot Toronto Eaton Centre store will be replaced with a 213,000 square foot Nordstrom store, 460,000 square feet of office space, and 140,000 square feet for other retailers, yet to be determined. Yorkdale's 190,000 square foot Sears will be redeveloped, and Sherway Gardens' 225,700 square foot Sears will be partly occupied by a new 132,000 square foot Saks Fifth Avenue store. Sears' 145,000 square foot Square One location will become a 113,000 square foot La Maison Simons, opening in 2016. 

Montreal: The 150,850 square foot Carrefour Laval Sears could be redeveloped, and sources inform us that Saks Fifth Avenue is considering the mall. Other desireable Montreal Sears locations include a 182,000 square foot unit at Fairview Pointe Claire, as well as a 146,600 square foot Galeries d'Anjou store. 

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