The manager of Windsor's Devonshire Mall isn't fazed by the impending closure of one of his biggest anchors.
Sears Canada is seeking court approval to begin liquidation of all of its remaining stores and assets, a move that would put about 12,000 employees out of work and see about 130 outlets close.
That would include the store at Devonshire Mall in Windsor, which has operated since the mall opened in 1970, when it was called "Simpson-Sears."
"It is a sad day for Devonshire and its customers — in particular it's sad for the employees," said Chris Savard, the manager of Devonshire Mall. "There's a really good team down there, and I know the Windsor store was one of the better stores in the Sears chain."
Savard said the mall is working on a number of replacement options for the Sears space. Complicating the matter is that the building and adjacent parking lot is owned by Sears Canada, not the mall.
"There's a number of legal hurdles that need to be worked through as we work to finding a replacement tenant for Sears," he said.
The mall's $70-million renovation, which is expected to continue in phases through 2018, will not be affected by the closure of Sears.
"Sales are at the highest level they've been in the mall's history," Savard said, adding that the rest of the mall is fully leased.
"As sad as it is to lose Sears, this is probably as good a time as any to re-purpose that space and provide new offerings to our customers here in Windsor-Essex."