Sears Canada sells distribution centres to facilitate restructuring

By Sudarshan Sitaula

Sears Canada is undergoing some serious restructuring right now, and to help make that happen the company is paring down its holdings and focusing its direction through the sale and trading of real estate.

"Sears Canada is committed to being a retailer of choice for Main Street Canadian consumers," said Brandon G. Stranzl, Executive Chairman, Sears Canada Inc, in a press release from the company.  "We are becoming a more focused Company, and will concentrate our resources and management talent on revitalizing our core retail business and customer experience across multiple channels, media, and brands – from in-store, to mobile, to online, to social media.”

Sears Canada announced new retail initiatives which include a development agreement with Concord Pacific Real Estate Developments Ltd and the sale of a no longer in use distribution centre for $8.5 million. The biggest new initiative is the sale of its Vaughan, Ontario distribution centre to Tamworth Properties Inc for $100 million. Sears Canada plans to then lease back the centre from Tamworth and continue operations as usual with no loss of staffing or service time.

"Sears Canada is taking a proactive approach to its real estate strategy," added Mr. Stranzl.  "We will evaluate all opportunities to optimize our retail and logistics footprint, including additional shop-in-shop concepts, rationalization of store and distribution centre space, and subleasing or subdividing stores.  Our store network has enormous value as a distribution channel to reach Canadian consumers.  We will continue to evaluate opportunities and creative structures for the Company to create value with its asset base, all within the context of revitalizing Sears Canada's core retail business and maintaining a strong balance sheet."

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