Sears leaving Village

Moira Baird
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Retail

Sears Canada is leaving the Village Shopping Centre in St. John's at the end of this year - one year earlier than its lease called for.

Sears' customers are being told the last shopping day at that location is Dec. 29.

Plazacorp Retail Properties, owners of the Village, and Sears negotiated an early exit from its lease for the national department store chain.

Sears has announced it will be leaving the Village mall at the end of this year, but new tenants have been found for some of the vacated space. Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Sears Canada is leaving the Village Shopping Centre in St. John's at the end of this year - one year earlier than its lease called for.

Sears' customers are being told the last shopping day at that location is Dec. 29.

Plazacorp Retail Properties, owners of the Village, and Sears negotiated an early exit from its lease for the national department store chain.

And Plazacorp says it has already lined up one store to fill the upper Sears floor and is in discussions with another retailer for the lower floor.

"We've made an agreement with Sears to terminate their lease early," said Michael Zakuta, president and CEO of Plazacorp.

"We have something else to take its place. The upper floor is spoken for.

"The large space next to Urban Planet is also spoken for."

Zakuta isn't saying who the new tenants will be.

But mall employees are spreading the word, and one of the top contenders for the space is Target, a discount department store chain and a competitor of Wal-Mart in the U.S.

On Jan. 15, Sears hands over its keys to the Village location.

Plazacorp expects to start renovating the space for its new tenants in time for spring occupancy.

Sears' lease with the Village runs until the end of 2008. The department store has operated there since the mall opened in the 1970s.

Sears will keep its other St. John's location at Avalon Mall, where it has operated since fall 2005.

Vincent Power, communications director for Sears Canada, said the department store will offer the same merchandise.

"We will offer a full line of apparel and accessories, we'll have our home and appliance merchandise ... and whatever licensed departments exist in the Avalon Mall will stay," she said.

Licensed departments include the portrait studio.

Plazacorp bought the Village in the spring of 2006 for about $20 million.

Zakuta figures the company will complete its remake of the mall by the end of 2008.

"We're making good progress.

"We're ahead of our plan ... sales are up and traffic is up."

mbaird@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Sears Canada, Village Shopping Centre, Wal-Mart

Geographic location: St. John's, U.S.

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Recent comments

  • Gordon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    The Village Mall was not the same after Marks and Spencers and Dominion left. A shopping mall needs a supermarket and it needs something to make it different. Now it has become little more than a glorified Metrobus terminal. It used to be quite a hub and a hangout, but times change and we change with the times. Having said that, the retail market in St. John's now is completely unlike what it was, say ten years ago. I think there is more choice now. The Village Mall is no longer the attraction it used to be. Perhaps Sears should have stayed downtown.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Sears closing it's doors to have stores move in to replace it does not equal loss of jobs. Half of the staff will move to the Avalon Mall location, and more jobs will be created by renovation of the existing store into many more stores allowing more jobs not less. If Sears was one of your dreams for employment upon return from Alberta, I'd suggest you set your sights a little higher...

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    BIG SURPRISE???

  • Alex
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    In Alberta all we have are the big sizes at Wal-mart which tell me that society is TOO FAT. Sizes 0-5 are not unreasonable when you are 5'-5'5''!

  • K
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    It is not sad that not everyone is a size 0 -5. It's attitudes like that which have so many young girls in trouble with eating disorders.

  • Denise
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I'd like to see some of these big retailers move some of their business to Central Newfoundland. We have nothing here in GFW. They encourage shopping at home, but how can you when all there is is Walmart? We're not all size 0-5 (sadly) and what Walmart offers in larger sizes (here in Central) is pitiful. I sure I'm not alone in wishing more stores like Sears, Zellars, etc. would move here. We serve a much larger area than just GFW, I truly believe they'd make a go of it. It would be nice to have somewhere to actually shop for reasonably priced clothes, furniture, etc. etc. Bring it on!!!

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    That's not the same Target! I remember those little stores called Target out in several locations around the bay. But I guarantee that it wasn't the same Target that has the large Dept stores in the US. Target stores in the US are as big as WalMart's but carry more higher end stuff. There's no chance of one of those openeing here in St. John's, as there isn't any in Canada yet. I think that its just a matter of the typical 'malls' being a thing of the past. Now everything is going towards 'Smart Centers' and box stores built up on the outskirts of towns. I don't see things getting any better for the Village.

  • E
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I think you guys really don't a a clue!!!! Your comments are wicked ....I think you really got to get a Life...hahahaha

  • Sheri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Part of the problem with the shopping issue is many items are cheaper on-line than in the parent store that operates and supplies the site. Case in point: Last week I went into a book store to purchase three books. Had checked the prices on-line. To buy from the store was over $20. more than having it come two days later by mail with free shipping.

  • Tina
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Not surprising that Sears is leaving the Village. It's been in the works for quite a while...they certainly can't compete with the Avalon Mall and the tenant mix they have in there. Once Sears opened their Avalon Mall location, it was just a matter of time until the Village location closed.

    As for Target coming, if the owners of The Village can accomplish that, great. But from what I understand, Target is a US based retailer and they aren't even in Canada yet. Do you honestly think that they're going to come to Newfoundland before opening in Toronto? I'd be very surprised to see that happen.

  • T
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    There are targets in Canada, there used to be one in Goose Bay when I lived there yrs ago!!!!

  • C
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    This city lives on rumours. We'll have to wait and see who moves into the space. I can't wait. The Village has definitely gone through some changes over the past few years and hopefully all for the better. I still can't figure out why Tip Top moved to being just outside the mall.

    As for St. John's being the first location for Target to launch, it could be possible. The first Subway location in Canada was opened on Water Street in 1986 (http://world.subway.com/Countries/frmMainPage.aspx?CC=CAN).

    Now if we could find tenants for all those empty Dominion buildings... Topsail Road, Ropewalk Lane, Newfoundland Drive, and Elizabeth Avenue are all standing empty. Those are big buildings that need tenants.

  • Thomas
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Sears pulling out of the Village Mall is no surprise at all, it was a matter of time. If the owners pull off having Target moved in, even better!!!! It means more choices for the people to shop at, and hopefully save money for the folks back home. Not all department stores need to open in Toronto, there are other consumers outside the large city!!!!!!

  • Brandon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Looks like not only people are heading away, but now the jobs as well. Come on Danny, what ya doing to keep and add employment to the province? Hate to come back and have no employers left to even drop a resume off at.

  • Big shopper
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I feel sorry for the city of St.John's and those in it when you can't even justify keeping on two department stores for the entire population there (and Sears barely counts as a real department store!)...

  • K
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    It is not sad that most women are not size 0 - 5. It's that type of attitude that have so many young women dealing with a distorted body image!

  • Chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    There goes something else out of the West End of the city. It is too bad for the seniors that have to travel to Mount Pearl, Avalon Mall or East End to do any type of shopping. The Village continues to go down hill since Walmart and Dominion left.

  • Gordon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    The Village Mall was not the same after Marks and Spencers and Dominion left. A shopping mall needs a supermarket and it needs something to make it different. Now it has become little more than a glorified Metrobus terminal. It used to be quite a hub and a hangout, but times change and we change with the times. Having said that, the retail market in St. John's now is completely unlike what it was, say ten years ago. I think there is more choice now. The Village Mall is no longer the attraction it used to be. Perhaps Sears should have stayed downtown.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Sears closing it's doors to have stores move in to replace it does not equal loss of jobs. Half of the staff will move to the Avalon Mall location, and more jobs will be created by renovation of the existing store into many more stores allowing more jobs not less. If Sears was one of your dreams for employment upon return from Alberta, I'd suggest you set your sights a little higher...

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    BIG SURPRISE???

  • Alex
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    In Alberta all we have are the big sizes at Wal-mart which tell me that society is TOO FAT. Sizes 0-5 are not unreasonable when you are 5'-5'5''!

  • K
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    It is not sad that not everyone is a size 0 -5. It's attitudes like that which have so many young girls in trouble with eating disorders.

  • Denise
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    I'd like to see some of these big retailers move some of their business to Central Newfoundland. We have nothing here in GFW. They encourage shopping at home, but how can you when all there is is Walmart? We're not all size 0-5 (sadly) and what Walmart offers in larger sizes (here in Central) is pitiful. I sure I'm not alone in wishing more stores like Sears, Zellars, etc. would move here. We serve a much larger area than just GFW, I truly believe they'd make a go of it. It would be nice to have somewhere to actually shop for reasonably priced clothes, furniture, etc. etc. Bring it on!!!

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    That's not the same Target! I remember those little stores called Target out in several locations around the bay. But I guarantee that it wasn't the same Target that has the large Dept stores in the US. Target stores in the US are as big as WalMart's but carry more higher end stuff. There's no chance of one of those openeing here in St. John's, as there isn't any in Canada yet. I think that its just a matter of the typical 'malls' being a thing of the past. Now everything is going towards 'Smart Centers' and box stores built up on the outskirts of towns. I don't see things getting any better for the Village.

  • E
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    I think you guys really don't a a clue!!!! Your comments are wicked ....I think you really got to get a Life...hahahaha

  • Sheri
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Part of the problem with the shopping issue is many items are cheaper on-line than in the parent store that operates and supplies the site. Case in point: Last week I went into a book store to purchase three books. Had checked the prices on-line. To buy from the store was over $20. more than having it come two days later by mail with free shipping.

  • Tina
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Not surprising that Sears is leaving the Village. It's been in the works for quite a while...they certainly can't compete with the Avalon Mall and the tenant mix they have in there. Once Sears opened their Avalon Mall location, it was just a matter of time until the Village location closed.

    As for Target coming, if the owners of The Village can accomplish that, great. But from what I understand, Target is a US based retailer and they aren't even in Canada yet. Do you honestly think that they're going to come to Newfoundland before opening in Toronto? I'd be very surprised to see that happen.

  • T
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    There are targets in Canada, there used to be one in Goose Bay when I lived there yrs ago!!!!

  • C
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    This city lives on rumours. We'll have to wait and see who moves into the space. I can't wait. The Village has definitely gone through some changes over the past few years and hopefully all for the better. I still can't figure out why Tip Top moved to being just outside the mall.

    As for St. John's being the first location for Target to launch, it could be possible. The first Subway location in Canada was opened on Water Street in 1986 (http://world.subway.com/Countries/frmMainPage.aspx?CC=CAN).

    Now if we could find tenants for all those empty Dominion buildings... Topsail Road, Ropewalk Lane, Newfoundland Drive, and Elizabeth Avenue are all standing empty. Those are big buildings that need tenants.

  • Thomas
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Sears pulling out of the Village Mall is no surprise at all, it was a matter of time. If the owners pull off having Target moved in, even better!!!! It means more choices for the people to shop at, and hopefully save money for the folks back home. Not all department stores need to open in Toronto, there are other consumers outside the large city!!!!!!

  • Brandon
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Looks like not only people are heading away, but now the jobs as well. Come on Danny, what ya doing to keep and add employment to the province? Hate to come back and have no employers left to even drop a resume off at.

  • Big shopper
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    I feel sorry for the city of St.John's and those in it when you can't even justify keeping on two department stores for the entire population there (and Sears barely counts as a real department store!)...

  • K
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    It is not sad that most women are not size 0 - 5. It's that type of attitude that have so many young women dealing with a distorted body image!

  • Chris
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    There goes something else out of the West End of the city. It is too bad for the seniors that have to travel to Mount Pearl, Avalon Mall or East End to do any type of shopping. The Village continues to go down hill since Walmart and Dominion left.