A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘sears canada

[NEWS] Four links from Canada, from Sears Canada to the Avro Arrow to racism to First Nations

  • MacLean’s Joe Castaldo notes the case for Sears Canada giving executives retention bonuses even as it shorts lesser workers.
  • CBC notes another, potentially more successful, search for Avro Arrow models in the depths of Lake Ontario.
  • VICE notes the history of white supremacism in Canada, extending to the point of a failed coup by some in Dominica.
  • Spacing reports on the Indigenous Place Making Council, intended to secure a place for increasingly urban First Nations in Canada.
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Written by Randy McDonald

July 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Three notes on economic declines, of Sears Canada, Postmedia, and Toronto real estate

  • City News shares a Canadian Press article sharing the warning issued by Sears Canada itself, another historic colossus of retail, that it may well be coming to its end.
  • The Columbia Review of Journalism warns that Canada’s Postmedia chain is failing, and could take all our newspapers with it.
  • Tess Kalinowski at the Toronto Star observes that the number of Greater Toronto Area home sales has continued to decline.

[LINK] Two links on the problems of American retail chains in Canada

Sears Canada’s issues, as reported by the Hamilton Spectator, seem existential.

Sears Canada, which could be sold by its U.S. parent, saw its net loss more than double in the first quarter as it felt the impacts of shoppers staying away due to a long winter throughout most parts of Canada.

The struggling department store chain reported Wednesday it had losses of $75.2 million, or 74 cents per share, for the three-month period ended May 3. This compared with a loss of $31.2 million, or 31 cents per share, for the same period a year earlier.

“The unseasonable weather had an adverse effect on our revenues,” president and chief executive Douglas Campbell said in a statement.

“Sales of spring merchandise were below last year, as winter-like weather was prevalent in most parts of the country well into the new season with cooler temperatures and significantly more snow in many areas,” he said.

Campbell said an upside to the cold weather was that it allowed the retailer to clear leftover fall and winter merchandise, “virtually emptying our stockrooms and getting it in front the customer.”

Sears Canada Inc. said its net loss included pre-tax expenses of $7.6 million primarily related to severance costs. Also included in net loss for the quarter were pre-tax lease exit costs, warranty and other costs related to such things as the future settlement of retirement benefits, totalling $11.2 million.

Same-store sales, which are stores open for at least a year and are an important metric in the retail industry, decreased by 7.6 per cent year-over-year.

Target Canada, at least in this CBC report, merely seems interested in getting things to work.

Target has sacked the president of its Canadian operations and replaced him with a 15-year veteran of the company’s U.S. operations.

Effective immediately, Mark Schindele, 45, who was senior vice-president of merchandising operations, will replace Tony Fisher as head of the Canadian operation.

[. . .]

Target opened more than 100 stores in Canada to much fanfare in late 2012, but the early returns have been underwhelming, with the Canadian unit losing about $1 billion since launch. The company is also trying to recover from a massive data breach in the U.S. that has cost it customer trust.

Canadian shoppers have complained that prices are too high, and the Canadian stores have been wrestling with inventory problems.

“Target came here trying to stoke expectations and they were very successful in that,” retail analyst Doug Stephens says. “Their problems began with delivering on the ground.”

Stephens says Target ran into a Canadian consumer base eager for the type of a shopping experience it had heard about in the U.S., but the company was quickly plagued by avoidable problems in their supply chain.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm

[LINK] “Sears Canada may be sold by U.S. parent”

CBC’s report doesn’t surprise me at all, given the closure of the chain’s flagship store in the Eaton Centre earlier this year. (My photos of the store’s final day are here.)

Sears is considering selling part or all of its Canadian operations after struggling to restructure the business for the past several years.

Shares in Sears Canada rose almost five per cent on Wednesday with news that Sears Holdings Corp. intends “to explore strategic alternatives including the potential divestiture of its remaining shares in Sears Canada and/or the sale of Sears Canada as a whole,” the company said in a statement.

The holding company controls its namesake stores, but also operates numerous Kmart locations. It owns a controlling stake of 51 per cent of the Canadian operations of Sears.

[. . .]

Mark Satov, founder of Satov Consultants Inc. in Toronto, said he’s been expecting this announcement.

“They’ve been underinvesting in their brand for a very long time and they can only do that for so long before it’s not relevant,” Satov said in an interview with CBC’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 14, 2014 at 9:19 pm

[LINK] Some Monday links

  • Crooked Timber’s Henry Farrell is skeptical of Josh Marshall’s new journalism site featuring paid advertisements from Big Pharma.
  • The Dragon’s Tales’ Will Baird provides another update about Ukrainian events.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that World Vision Canada, unlike its American counterpart, is legally required not to discriminate against non-heterosexuals.
  • Language Hat links to a study on the formerly Russophone Alaskan community of Ninilchik.
  • Language Log suggests that handwriting is a dying art in East Asia, too.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a book on maritime conflicts in the South China Sea.
  • The Signal features a guest post from two librarians working for the Library of Congress explaining how they do their work.
  • Savage Minds explains the myth of the sexy librarian.
  • Torontoist has two photos memorializing recently-closed stores, one from the World’s Biggest Bookstore and the other from Sears in the Eaton Centre.

[PHOTO] Thirteen photos from the last day of Sears in the Eaton Centre, Toronto

The last time before today that I visited Sears Canada‘s Eaton Centre store was in December, after the announcement of the store’s closure by the end of February. I was interested in visiting it with my parents on their visit, and we three visited a once-great department store. I got a pair of jeans for cheap, and my mother bought a pair of gloves (though not without having to paw through a bin for the right one).

I’d read the press of the steadily emptying store, pieces like Dakshana Bascaramurty’s article in The Globe and Mail from the 8th of this month or Francine Kopun’s Toronto Star article from the 21st. (I quote below from Kopun’s article.)

At the Eaton Centre Sears on Friday, mannequins wrapped in bubble paper, looking like mummies, were leaned up against fixtures, bearing new destinations scrawled in black marker. They’re being shipped to Moncton and Peterborough and to suburban GTA stores.

Sears plans to focus on stores in smaller cities and suburbs.

Located at one of Canada’s best retail addresses, in a mall that is also a tourist attraction overlooking Yonge-Dundas Square, the Sears that was once an Eaton’s will reopen as a smaller Nordstrom in 2016.

[. . .]

Sears Canada remains 51 per cent owned by Sears Holdings Corporation in the U.S. Sears Holdings is run by hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, who has been accused of squeezing profits out of Canadian operations to return to shareholders – himself included – in the form of handsome dividends.

Outside the Eaton Centre on Friday, Sarah Chandler, 40, mourned the loss of the downtown Sears location. She shops at Sears for everything, including clothes for her son, furniture and jewellery.

She likes the selection, quality and price and…Sears was everywhere.

“I think it’s really sad, it’s the end of an era,” said Chandler, a facilities manager for United Way.

Today at 4 o’clock, I decided to pay a visit and see what there was to be seen.

Looking at the south end of Sears in the Eaton Centre, on the last day of its operation, the emptiness of the store is visible.

Sears in the Eaton Centre, south end

The emptiness is visible at the north entrance to the store, too.

Sears in the Eaton Centre, north end

The only items left for sale were deeply discounted store fixtures.

Sears in the Eaton Centre (1)

Sears in the Eaton Centre (2)

The once-crowded cosmetics area was empty, only denuded fixtures visible.

Sears in the Eaton Centre (3)

Sears in the Eaton Centre (4)

The escalators were silent.

Sears in the Eaton Centre (5)

Sears in the Eaton Centre (6)

The -1 level was the only level apart from the main floor that was accessible, and its polished alleys stretched out uninterrupted by things like merchandise.

Sears in the Eaton Centre (7)

Sears in the Eaton Centre (8)

These fixtures were apparently destined for the Peterborough Sears, itself according to a Peterborough Examiner article from this January about to face job cuts.

Sears in the Eaton Centre (9)

Sears in the Eaton Centre (10)

Sears in the Eaton Centre (11)

Written by Randy McDonald

February 24, 2014 at 1:58 am

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Fresh from a redesign of his blog, Andrew Barton’s Acts of Minor Treason features an icestorm photo, of a tree encased in ice.
  • BlogTO observes that a plan to tear down the Hotel Waverly and the Silver Dollar nightclub, located at Spadina and College, and to replace it with a 22-story building including student housing, has been turned down.
  • Far Outliers notes the German role in fomenting jihadist sentiments against the British and French in the early 20th century and the multiple irreconcilable political goals of the Young Turks.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Italian Olympics committeeman Mario Pescante has criticized the US for sending out non-heterosexuals to Sochi.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen considers (1, 2) which countries will be experiencing recessions, as opposed to financial crises. (Canada features, as do the Nordic countries and Singapore.)
  • Registan’s Reid Standish notes that fish are returning to the northern Aral Sea, an area that has seen extensive rehabilitation under Kazakhstan as a new small self-enclosed sea.
  • Torontoist traces the history of the large retail space at the north end of the Eaton Centre, once Eaton’s flagship store, then a major Sears location, now set to become a Nordstrom’s.
  • Towleroad notes that Nigeria is already seeking out gays for persecution and observes that Russia is upset with the European Union’s inclusion of gay rights in its human rights platforms.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that an ingenious effort to find evidence of time travel from the future through social networking posts has found nothing.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the arguments of many that a Russia that established a Eurasian union without Ukraine would become much less Slavic and Orthodox.