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We think Sears Canada's days are numbered, and we think Sears might be preparing to sell off more store leases and/or sell the entire company to another retailer. We'll explain how this could pave the way for more Canadian Nordstrom stores, as well as the entry of Macy's/Bloomingdale's into the Canadian market.

Sears Canada has been struggling and has already laid off a substantial number of employees. A couple of days ago, it let go 245 Canadian employees and announced that it was moving some of its IT, finance and payroll operations to India and the Philippines. We noticed that this announcement didn't come as part of a "broader strategy" for Sears. In fact, it's just more cost cutting. And this cost cutting, in our opinion, looks more like a retailer trying to make itself attractive for a takeover than a retailer trying to turn itself around.

If Sears were to sell out, we think it could be done in two ways. First, it could sell off a few more of its primely located stores, including locations at the Toronto Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens, Polo Park in Winnipeg, West Edmonton Mall, and a few others. This could pave the way for more Canadian Nordstrom stores. Second, we know that Macy's has been considering the Canadian market for a while and is already considering bringing Bloomingdale's to Canada. Buying Sears Canada could be a strategic move for Macy's, as it could gain some prime retail space that would be impossible to build completely from scratch. We'll reveal more on Macy's/Bloomingdale's possible arrival to Canada soon.

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Readers may remember that it was originally Sears Canada's selling back some leases that led to Nordstrom's coming to Canada. Sears also recently sold back three prime Toronto area store leases, possibly opening the door for La Maison Simons in Toronto.

Several insiders tell us that morale at Sears Canada is low, both in its offices as well as its stores. We encourage everyone working at Sears Canada to hang in there, as there may be new positions coming available at some new, exciting retailers.

[Sears Canada website]