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How will Canadian malls cope with the loss of Sears?

Last Updated Oct 11, 2017 at 10:18 am PST

(Screen grab: CityTV)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The impending closure of the 130 remaining Sears Canada stores will leave huge holes in many of the country’s shopping malls.

DIG 360 retail analyst Raymond Shoolman says while this likely won’t mean the mall’s themselves will disappear, it may signal a period of significant change.

“Shopping malls are going to have to evolve… the same as the retailers are going to have to evolve; become more interesting, more experiential, give people a lot of fun,” he says.

While Sears will be a major loss, Shoolman points out malls faced a similar challenge just two years ago when Target left the scene.

“Many of the malls adjusted. They cut the square-footage down, broke it up, brought in new retailers.”

He adds though that it will more difficult for smaller malls in more rural areas to overcome the loss and adapt.

On Tuesday, Sears Canada Inc. announced it is seeking court approval to liquidate its remaining stores, leaving approximately 12,000 employees without a job. This move would affect 11 department stores across BC, including six in the Lower Mainland.