Sears Canada exits more store leases, handing off 8 Sears Home leases to Leon’s Furniture Image: Victoria Buzz

Sears Canada announced today it will hand eight of its Sears Home banner store leases over to its competitor Leon’s Furniture, that includes the location at Island Home Centre on Tolmie Avenue, across from Red Robin.

In a statement, the company said these arrangements will further strengthen Sears Canada’s strategy to make its core bricks and mortar store footprint more productive and enable it to become a stronger company.

The company had been trying to get out of the Saanich location lease for several years. The 50,000-square-foot Sears Home store on Tolmie Avenue, slated to close in July, will reopen in September as Leon’s Furniture.

“We are working on rationalizing our store network to ensure our core store physical footprint is highly productive,” said Brandon G. Stranzl, Executive Chairman, Sears Canada Inc.  “Our focus is on converting each and every customer at stores with less efficient footprints, into customers of our more efficient and best performing stores. These actions will drive more business over less square footage, and will make Sears Canada a stronger company.”

According to Financial Post, Sears Canada’s shares have fallen 43 per cent this year. Overall sales have fallen for the past nine years to $3.4 billion.

Leon’s Furniture will take over the Victoria lease on June 1, 2016.

Four of the lease acquisitions are in British Columbia. Prior to the lease acquisitions, Leon’s Furniture had no stores in the province. The other stores will be located in Abbotsford, Langley, Richmond and.

Leon’s also own 27 of The Brick showrooms in the province, which have been operating for nearly thirty years.