Five Maritime Sears locations closing as part of company’s restructuring plan
Three Sears Canada locations in Nova Scotia and two in New Brunswick are among 59 stores closing as part of the company’s restructuring plans.
In a press release on its website Thursday, Sears Canada says its full-line store in Dartmouth at the Penhorn Mall and in Truro will be shutting down, along with its Halifax Outlet location beside the Halifax Shopping Centre.
Stores in Saint John and Bathurst will also be closing. The anchor store in the Halifax Shopping Centre will remain open.
Approximately 2,900 jobs will be cut as part of the plan to restructure its business under court protection from creditors.
Simpsons-Sears opened its first Canadian location in 1953 and became a mainstay with its catalogue sales.
The loss is perhaps most acute in smaller communities.
"It's disappointing because Saint John really doesn't have any big stores to shop at," says Saint John resident Valerie Landry.
"Christmas time, birthdays, we always come to Sears, so we're going to miss Sears for sure in Saint John," says Julie Drummond.
Saint John Mayor Don Darling echoed that statement, telling CTV News, "This is a big loss for those who served in the store, and those who shopped there and our community."
The business had been struggling in recent years. Closure of the Dartmouth location was announced last year.
Marketing professor Ed McHugh says this is another example of how the Canadian retail market is shifting.
"Everyone wants a deal, no one wants to pay full price for anything anymore. We've started to shave the margin out of everything," says McHugh.
Sears says it's begun a brand reinvention.
"They have changed over the years and they're not the Sears they were 20 years ago, so maybe the demise was in the cards," says Halifax resident Sonya Dudka.
The company's former CEO agrees, claiming Sears has been in decline for a long time.
"This restructure has nothing to do with the weakness of the Canadian economy or the weakness of the retail industry at the moment," says former Sears CEO Marc Cohen.
Cohen says it's not clear whether the company will survive.
Sears has not given a timeline for the closures.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Sarah Ritchie.
BREAKING. Sears closing Halifax Outlet, stores in Dartmouth, Saint John, Bathurst, Truro, as part of creditor protection plan. @CTVAtlantic— Steve Murphy (@CTVAnchor) June 22, 2017
Sears: closing Saint John and Bathurst locations. Not seeing Fredericton on the list. @CTVAtlantic— Laura Brown (@LauraBrownCTV) June 22, 2017