CBC: Sears closure an opportunity for Garden City, says councillor
As CBC Manitoba reports:
The Winnipeg city councillor who represents the Garden City area said she is optimistic about retail there, despite the upcoming closure of the large Sears Outlet store.
Sears Canada announced Thursday it is closing 59 locations across Canada, including all of its outlet stores, and will cut 2,900 jobs.
The only business affected in Winnipeg is the company’s outlet store at the Garden City Shopping Centre. The store’s closure follows other recent closures in the area, including those of the Future Shop and Safeway locations that were nearby.
“It’s obviously sad for those that would be losing their job with Sears,” Coun. Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan) said Thursday after learning of the news. “But I think as one door closes another does open…”
If the new tenant is going to be successful, Kelley Main, a marketing professor at the University of Manitoba, said it will need to learn from Sears’ mistakes.
“We see stores that have a similar model that have had similar difficulties,” Main said. “We’ve had Target come and go and Zellers come and go and Kmart come and go.”
Sears, like many other department stores, has a long history and good brand recognition. But with that past also comes baggage, and large brick-and-mortar stores may not be the most nimble in adapting to change, Main said.
“Very large stores [have] very large real estate footprints that make it hard to adapt. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how to change course when you’ve been on the same course for so long,” she said. “Sometimes it’s easier to start all over.”
Customers are now more savvy when it comes to comparison shopping and need something special, like rock-bottom prices or niche goods on offer, to draw them into a retail store.
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