It was an ordinary winter day of 2014 in Toronto. A young man walked out from the Sears flagship store in Eaton Center. Yellow posters inside the Sears store deliver a clear message: Sears stores closing down.
Sears is an American multinational mid-range department store chain headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois in Greater Chicago. The company was founded in 1893 as a mail order catalog. Sears began opening local department stores in 1925 and peaked its business in the 1950s and 1960s but followed with long slow contraction.
Sears Canada was formed in 1952 as a joint venture of Simpson’s and United States retailer Sears. As a retailer headquartered in Toronto, Sears Canada operates in all provinces and territories of Canada with a network of 196 corporate stores, 195 dealer stores, 38 home improvement showrooms, 108 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network.
In the beginning of 2012, Sears announced closing of 100-120 of its stores in the United States. Sears Canada also announced store closing in October 2013. Actually the retail giant began fighting for survival many years before. Unfortunately kept losing the long lasting battle forced the company starting change its battle fields. Sears is closing its downtown Chicago flagship in April 2014. The store has lost “millions of dollars” since opening in 2001. Edward Lampert, the Sears’ CEO and top shareholder, said store closings are necessary because shoppers’ habits are changing as they buy more online. “As difficult as these changes are, we believe the alternative of failing to plan for or even see where the retail industry is heading would be far, far worse.”, Edward Lampert said.
Is it time to say goodbye to a store or an era? Sears is not the only retailer encountered such troubles. As Sears Canada cutting off over 1600 jobs, the electronics retailer Best Buy is cutting about 950 jobs in Canada. Furthermore, global flagship store closing became the biggest news in the first month of 2014. Sears, Barnes & Noble and Hudson’s Bay are just some of the names under spot lights. It is a clear sign of game change in retail industry.
Sears stores being closing in Canada
Sears closing in Eaton center Toronto