Devonshire Mall talks Sears, new look and approach for unique tenants

Devonshire Mall said there are new stores coming and big interest in the empty Sears store.

The Devonshire Mall expects Sears to be chunked out into smaller stores

Here's what the new entrance to Devonshire Mall will look like when it's completed. (Devonshire Mall)

The shift to online shopping hasn't managed to slow down sales at Devonshire Mall as it enters its 48th year.

Sales have never been better at the brick and mortar complex, according to general manager Chris Savard.

"Sales here at Devonshire sit at the highest levels they've been in our entire history at the same time as online shopping continues to grow," said Savard, who took CBC Windsor on a tour of the site Thursday. 

Devonshire Mall is in the middle of a $70-million renovation project, which Savard said will see "every single square foot" upgraded, including additional features like solar panelling and energy efficient lighting.

New food, retail spaces

Savard highlighted a Mandarin restaurant and a bigger and better Shoppers Drug Mart as major additions to the retail space as well as a new food court that will include three more food outlets. 

He said that every retail space inside of the mall is currently leased except a few which are being left open for future projects. 

Savard said there's more first-to-market retailers expected to be announced within the "next little bit" but wouldn't provide any additional details. 

As the mall looks toward the future he said they envision maintaining the current foot print. 

"I don't see us looking to expand," said Savard.

What about Sears?

"It's a good question," said Savard, who pointed out that Sears is not a tenant of the mall as the company owns its own locations.

"It might be one of the best pieces of earth in the City of Windsor," said Savard, pointing out there's been strong interest in the location and imagines it will be split into smaller chunks of retail space.

He said the mall would be interested in purchasing the space if it were placed for sale but cited a number of legal issues that Sears is working through as it liquidates assets and stores.

with files from Arms Bumanlag