Sears Canada

Corporate history

A Sears store at Chinook Centre in Calgary, Alberta


Sears Canada began its operations as Simpsons-Sears Limited, a catalogue and mid-market suburban retailer, in 1952. The company was formed as a joint-venture between the Robert Simpson Company (Simpson's), an existing Canadian department store retailer, and Sears, Roebuck and Co. of the United States. The purpose of the joint-venture was to take over the existing Simpson's catalogue operations, and to build new stores in markets that were not already served by existing Simpson's stores, leveraging Sears-Roebuck's strong buying power and organization.

Simpson-Sears Corporate Logo circa 1953

In 1971, the company opened its new head office building in downtown Toronto.

In 1973-1974, Simpsons-Sears opened its first stores in metropolitan areas already served by Simpson's (although in suburban areas well away from the downtown Simpson's stores), the first such being in Mississauga, Ontario.

So, to avoid confusing customers, these new stores were opened under the Sears banner. All existing Simpsons-Sears stores were rebranded to the Sears banner as well. However the name of the entity remained Simpsons-Sears.

In 1976, Simpsons-Sears inaugurated a Sears store at Galeries d'Anjou, its first location in a mall with a Simpsons store.

Hudson's Bay acquisition of Simpsons

The Hudson's Bay Company acquired Simpsons in 1978. Because of federal competition laws, the Hudson's Bay Company was required to divest itself of its interest in Simpsons-Sears, which had been held by Simpsons, and the chain was formally renamed Sears Canada Inc. in 1984. The Hudson's Bay Company eventually merged the remaining Simpsons stores into its the Bay division in 1991, and the Simpsons name has disappeared from Canada's retail landscape. As a result of this move, Sears Canada took over eight former Simpsons and Bay stores and finally gained a major foothold in Toronto.

Sears Whole Home and

A Sears Home location in Moncton, New Brunswick

Interior of Pacific Centre store, a former "eatons" location.

In 1995, Sears Canada opened Sears Whole Home furniture stores located in power centres, and renamed them Sears Furniture and Appliances stores in 1999, to reflect the addition of major appliances. In 2003, Sears Canada again renamed their Furniture and Appliances store to Sears Home stores. This change was intended to reflect their broader appeal for customers seeking a one stop experience for re-making their home decor. The stores' product line was expanded to include Home Installed Products and Services such as floor coverings, customer drapery, and other installed home related products in many locations. Today, these specialty stores are named "Sears Home".

In 1998, Sears Canada's website, became an active channel, allowing customers to order from a selection of over 500 products. By 2001, the website became Canada's most popular retail internet destination with over a million orders placed that year.[citation needed]


In 1999, Sears Canada acquired The T. Eaton Company Limited. With this acquisition, Sears Canada acquired some of the assets and the trademark name of the bankrupt chain. For the first time in its history, Sears Canada held the leases to a number of prime downtown locations in Toronto (Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Mall), Vancouver (Pacific Centre), Victoria, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Calgary (all former Eaton's stores). Sears had intended to obtain the former Eaton downtown Montreal store but lost out to the incumbent Les Ailes de la Mode.

Sears relaunched eatons (with the lowercase "e" logo) in November 2000 as a seven-store upscale mini-brand, with locations in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto (2 locations) and Ottawa. This operation was unsuccessful, however, and Sears converted the eatons stores to the Sears brand in 2002. Many said that the eatons stores were too upscale and/or too thinly scattered across the country for the mini-chain to have ever been profitable and worthwhile[citation needed]. The retail environment has changed with more of the population shopping at big box outlets and/or specialty stores squeezing out the middle market which is the base of the traditional department store.

New President and Sears Card

In August 26, 2004, Sears Canada Chairman and CEO Mark A. Cohen's contract was terminated and was replaced by Brent Hollister. Cohen was formerly President of Softlines and Chief Marketing Officer of the US parent Sears.

In 2005, Sears Card financial services was outsourced to JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. with Sears receiving billion CDN for the sale, while Sears Club points system was retained by the retailer. Sears also paid a special dividend upon the completion of the transaction. CEO Brent Hollister said that the move would allow Sears to refocus on its retail operations; as the chain had been lately relied heavily on its financial services division.


In January 2006, Sears Holdings Inc, the parent company and majority shareholder of Sears Canada Inc. made a bid to purchase the remaining shares to take the company private. Some members of the board opposed the move.

Pertaining to the attempt of privatization on behalf of its parent company, Sears Holdings Limited; a recent ruling by the Ontario Securities Commission, made in August 2006, has stalled progress on this front. While the ruling does not dispel the future possibility of the privatization of Sears Canada, it does pose a significant obstacle by ruling three major shareholding blocks ineligible to vote as the blocs were given extraordinary privileges by Sears Holdings Limited.

On November 14, 2006 Sears Holdings' move to privatize Sears Canada at a bid of .97/share fell through by voting amongst the minority shareholder groups. Currently Sears Holdings owns more than 70% of the total shares of Sears Canada Inc.

See also

List of Canadian department stores

Sears Holdings Corporation

Sears, Roebuck and Company

Sears Roebuck (Mexico)


^ "Company Profile for Sears Canada Inc (CA;SCC)".;SCC&page=quotesearch. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 

^ "About Sears" - Sears Canada website

^ "Sears Canada pourrait-elle tre bientt vendue?". Canoe. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 

^ A National Institution: The Eaton's Chronology The Globe and Mail. February 19, 2002 (table reprinted by Western Libraries)

^ "OSC stalls Sears buyout". CBC News. 2006-08-08. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 

^ McFarland, Janet; Strauss, Marina (2006-09-08). "Sears Holdings smacked by OSC ruling". Globe and Mail Update. Retrieved 2006-01-06. 

^ Shaw, Hollie (2006-11-15). "Shareholders block privatization of Sears Canada". Financial Post. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 

External links

Sears Canada

v d e

Sears Holdings Corporation

Current Management:

W. Bruce Johnson, interim CEO   Edward Lampert, Chairman (major owner)


Sebastian S. Kresge  Alvah C. Roebuck  Richard Sears


Kmart  Big Kmart  Super Kmart  Lands' End  Sears  Sears Grand  Sears Hardware  Sears Appliance Dealer  Sears Outlet  Sears Parts & Repair  The Great Indoors  Orchard Supply Hardware  Sears Canada  Sears Mexico


Craftsman  Diehard  Kenmore  Joe Boxer  Martha Stewart Everyday

Annual Revenue: .124 billion USD (2006)  Employees: 355,000 (2006)   Stock Symbol: NASDAQ SHLD  Website:

Categories: Companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange | Department stores of Canada | S&P/TSX Composite Index | Sears Holdings Corporation | Canadian subsidiaries of foreign companiesHidden categories: Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2009 | All articles containing potentially dated statements | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from April 2008 | Articles with unsourced statements from November 2009