Consumers – not to mention the Garden City Shopping Centre – likely won’t know what will become of Winnipeg’s soon-to-be-closed Sears store until the fall.
The beleaguered retailer took a court order in mid-July to begin a “comprehensive and flexible sale and investment solicitation process” of its business, real estate and other assets.
A deadline of October 4 has been set for the court to approve any successful bids.
“We should have some idea of what’s going to happen with the [Garden City] location by then,” said company spokesman Joel Shaffer.
Sears Canada recently announced that 59 of its 127 retail outlets in Canada will be closing over the next few months.
The north Winnipeg mall is unable to do much except wait as Sears isn’t just a tenant – it owns its 92,000-square-foot location.
Christian Green, assistant vice-president of investor relations at Toronto-based RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the mall, said it will focus on its ongoing multimillion-dollar renovations. They include a new food court, larger washrooms, additional seating, a “refreshing” of three of the exterior entrances and an “overall modern look and feel.”
He said the sooner plans could be arranged for the Sears location, the better.
“You’d like to have an operating store,” he said.
Along with Canadian Tire, Sears is one of two major anchors at Garden City.