TORONTO – Sears Canada Inc will stick to its three-year turnaround plan, Chief Executive Calvin McDonald said on Friday although he conceded he was not entirely happy with the company’s progress in the 19 months since he took the top job.
Last week, the department store chain’s parent, Sears Holdings Corp, said the performance of the Canadian unit would likely hold back its own fourth-quarter results.
“There are areas that I wish were further along in our transformation plan,” McDonald said in an interview. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
TORONTO — With news from its U.S. parent about lower sales and operating earnings at Sears Canada in the critical holiday quarter, the future looks increasingly grim for the Canadian department store chain as rival Target Canada gets ready to open stores here in two months.
Stylish ex-Sears Canada chief executive Calvin McDonald has been named president and CEO of beauty retailer Sephora Americas.
The move, rumoured after Mr. McDonald abruptly left the Canadian department store chain last month, puts the one-time Loblaw executive known for his marketing prowess in charge of the French beauty giant’s more than 330 outlets in North America and Latin America, and within stores at 400 JC Penney locations in the U.S.
He succeeds David Suliteanu, who has led Sephora since July 2000.
Sears Canada laid off 800 more employees on Tuesday, the bulk of the cuts falling at the troubled retailer’s parts and service repair businesses, according to sources.
The company, which has been shedding assets, outsourcing non-core operations and selling back leases to landlords in a bid to raise cash, reportedly informed roughly 90 head office employees and more than 700 home services workers of the terminations in day-long meetings.
TORONTO • Head office employees at Sears Canada are bracing for more layoffs as the struggling retailer moves forward under its new turnaround specialist CEO.
The company held a series of head office meetings last week with employees at multiple levels and departments to outline its strategies, according to sources, which include a goal of streamlining head office and decreasing its salary costs.
The scope of the pending cuts was not revealed, and no store-level employees will be affected, sources said.
TORONTO • Sears Canada’s move to sell five plum urban locations back to its landlords for $400-million should ensure the retailer posts a profit this year, but it raises serious questions about the department store chain’s future in this country’s rapidly evolving retail landscape.
The move announced Tuesday capitalizes on the desire of multiple retailers — Nordstrom and Simon’s among them — to secure prized and limited retail space in Canada’s top shopping malls, including the jewel anchor lease at Toronto’s Eaton Centre.
TORONTO • Online shopping won’t lead to the eventual demise of stores, retailers agree, but the gradual growth of e-commerce will likely spur them to shrink average store size over the next five years.
Determining a future commercial real estate plan is “a really hot question right now, in terms of strategy,” Kevin Macnab, president of Toys ‘R’ Us Canada, told a retail panel parsing the state of online, mobile and bricks-and-mortar shopping at the Retail Conference of Canada’s Store 2014 conference in Toronto on Tuesday.
TORONTO • Leading a wartime military unit and operating a retailer have a few key strategies in common, according to the new chief executive of Sears Canada Inc.
“There are strategic elements around the idea of focus, and amassing your forces,” said Douglas Campbell, who was a U.S. marine pilot before he became a corporate turnaround specialist. “You have got to be able to focus on a few simple things that you do well.”
Sears Canada announced Monday that chief executive Calvin McDonald was stepping down to “pursue an opportunity with a leading international company.”
He will be replaced by Douglas C. Campbell effective Tuesday. Campbell joined Sears in 2011 and was appointed chief operating officer in November, 2012.
“I am excited about the opportunity to lead a company with such a great brand and history, and to continue to improve the performance of Sears,” Campbell said in a statement.
More to come …