Right around the time that the Beatles released their 11th studio album “Abbey Road”, Hillside Shopping Centre was adding an anchor tenant that would become a staple of the Hillside shopping experience.

In 1969, Sears at the Hillside Shopping Centre began a tenancy that would last nearly half a century.

Today, however, marks the first step towards its departure from the venue.

Liquidation of all Sears stores in Canada has begun, and “everything must go” will surely be plastered everywhere in sight.

Given that the retail space is nearly 150,000 square feet, they’ll need to make plenty of signs!

According to the company, shoppers can expect sales of up to 50% off, with all sales being final. Warranties will only be as good as the brand behind the product.

Sears’ departure creates challenges for Hillside Shopping Centre

Of course, the departure of a veteran Hillside tenant doesn’t come without disappointment.

The mall is often populated by seniors during “normal work hours”, and Sears offered a shopping experience fit for all ages. It’s unlikely for that demographic to be interested in stores like Boathouse and Spencer’s Gifts, while they enjoy their afternoon coffee.

The other challenge is that few tenants can make use of such a massive retail space.

Sears has 148,803 square feet of space – a luxury that few companies can use effectively. By comparison, Marshall’s has 29,163 square feet, and Shopper’s Drug Mart has just 17,002 square feet.

With a plethora of renovations being done to the Hillside Shopping Centre from 2009-2012, Hillside is still an attractive option for potential retailers. It even survived the surprising departure of Target without many hiccups.

But the vacancy of such a massive space will present unique challenges for those involved with filling the vacated space.

How ’bout an Ikea?

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