Sears store in Chatham. July 21, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Devonshire Mall Plans For A Future Without Sears

The general manager at Devonshire Mall in Windsor says the loss of Sears will not affect its $70-million renovation.

The mall is currently renovating its food courts and just welcomed Metro.

GM Chris Savard says the new offerings should be ready by the middle of next year.

“We’re sorry to see Sears leave. It was an icon in the retail world,” says Savard, commenting on this week’s announcement that Sears will close its remaining stores in Canada, putting 12,000 workers across the country out of work.

Last June, the company announced it was seeking creditor protection, while closing 20 department stores and 39 smaller locations, including the one on Legacy Dr. in Windsor. This week, it said it had failed to find a buyer and was shutting down the rest of its locations. Almost 200 people work at the store in Devonshire Mall.

“Certainly we’re going to have some work to do to find some replacement tenants, but we’re looking forward to the challenge,” says Savard. “It’s still very early in the process, but we are working on a number of replacement options. As you can imagine, there are a number of legal hurdles that we’re going to have to work through in the coming months.”

In the meantime, he says business at the mall is booming.

“Sales are at the highest level they’ve been in the history of the building,” Savard says. “We’re fully leased.”

– With files from Maureen Revait