La Maison Simons president & CEO Peter Simons says he’s actively negotiating space at two Toronto area malls, according to the Toronto Star. Simons would occupy space vacated by Sears at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre and at Mississauga’s Square One. Last week we reported that the Sears store leases at both these malls were sold back to Landlord Oxford Properties for about $191 million.
We were aware and reported that Simons was in talks with Oxford Properties and we’d would like to clarify a few things about the negotiations and the space available. Oxford Properties has not yet decided what to do with its newly acquired Sears space, and both Sears leases won’t be vacated by Sears until March 2014. Both spaces are also too large for a single Simons store.
If negotiations with Simons are successful, Simons stores are not likely occupy the entire Sears store space at either mall. According to lease plans, Yorkdale’s Sears store is about 190,000 square feet and Square One’s Sears is about 145,000 square feet.
Simons stores are typically in the 80,000-100,000 square foot range and its largest location is currently the 118,000 square foot West Edmonton Mall store, which opened last year. Given the larger sizes of the Yorkdale and Square One Sears stores, we could expect Simons to occupy either part of the existing Sears stores or for the Sears spaces to be demolished for new development.
Simons is in the process of a Canada-wide expansion that could see new stores open in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto, among other cities. Simons will open its first Ottawa store in 2015 at the Rideau Shopping Centre (in the same mall as Nordstrom) and could open a second Ottawa-area location in Gatineau. It opened its Edmonton location in October of 2012 and will open a store at Montreal’s Galeries d’Anjou, mid-August.
Yorkdale Shopping Centre recently underwent a massive expansion and recently announced its latest expansion plans that will include more retail space and Nordstrom as an anchor. Yorkdale’s Holt Renfrew is also expanding and innovating as a prototype for future store renovations.
Square One is also in the process of an expansion that will see new retail space as well as a 120,000 square foot Holt Renfrew store. The future of Square One’s Walmart store is in question and we’ll update you on any developments.
We’ll update you on La Maison Simon’s cross-Canada expansion. Needless to say, it has become an exciting time for Canadian retail.