Semiahmoo Shopping Centre cites Zellers exit as ‘great news’

Zellers in Semiahmoo Shopping Centre is set to close by the end of August. - File photo
Zellers in Semiahmoo Shopping Centre is set to close by the end of August.
— image credit: File photo

Zellers in Semiahmoo Shopping Centre is set to close at the end of the summer.

The South Surrey department store – the future of which has been tenuous since U.S. chain Target purchased most Canadian Zellers stores from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 2012 – will close at the end of August, according to Brian Zozak, an executive vice-president with First Capital Realty, which owns the mall.

Zozak deferred to HBC when asked for the reason for the closure, saying anything he said “would just be speculating.”

HBC spokesperson Tiffany Bourré also did not return a request for comment.

However, despite not knowing why the store is to be shuttered, Zozak said he was excited with the change.

“It’s great news. It gives us a chance to re-merchandise the location,” he said, adding that discussions were already underway with “one or two” potential new tenants that could anchor the space.

He said there was “nothing I can announce publicly right now,” with regard to a new tenant, though estimated it would take between six months and a year for any new business to open once Zellers leaves.

Zellers has not been driving customers to the shopping centre in recent times, Zozak said, “and hasn’t for quite some time, really.”

“Frankly, almost anything we replace it with will be better than what we have had there in the past,” he added.

In 2012, the Semiahmoo Zellers was one of just 64 stores, out of 253 nation-wide, not sold to Target. At that time, Bourré told PAN that the location would either shut down or be rebranded under a different name.

Then, after announcing in early 2013 that the store would close that March, HBC reversed course and announced the store would remain open as a liquidator for Hudson’s Bay and Home Outfitters, though no details were provided for the reason for the company’s change of heart.

However, in March of that year, the store was closed after a mattress display caught on fire in an incident Surrey Fire Services first deemed suspicious, but later said was “not deliberate.”

It reopened late last June, as one of only three stores to bear the Zellers logo. On the website, only South Surrey and Etobicoke, Ont. outlets are listed as “remaining open.”

However, Ottawa media reported Zellers unexpectedly reopened there this spring.

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