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Sears closures open possibilities for commercial real estate

As it struggles to remain solvent, Sears Canada has announced the closure of three stores in Alberta, leaving about 100 people jobless. This hardly a surprise for many in North America who have anticipated things would only get worse since its parent company in the United States has already closed hundreds of stores. However, for those monitoring local commercial real estate, the departure of the floundering department stores may not be such a bad thing.

In recent years, downsizing in the oil industry has left Alberta office towers without tenants as well as eliminating foot traffic crucial for adjacent businesses. However, the trend in these areas so far this year has been toward declining vacancy rates in commercial real estate. In the past few months, vacancies have declined from 11.5 percent to 10.8 percent.

The Sears stores set to close in Alberta are in desirable locations, and experts say these vacancies should be easy to fill. Landlords may be able to attract more relevant tenants who will bring a newer, more youthful clientele. In fact, it is possible that landlords have anticipated the closures of these stores and have been open to discussions from potential tenants.

Property owners in Alberta may have many questions regarding a complex transaction such as renting or selling commercial real estate. Additionally, business owners looking to buy or rent property will also want to ensure their interests are protected. Seeking advice from a lawyer with ties to the community means having the counsel of someone who is willing to offer a personal touch to help clients reach their goals.don't abbreviate U.S.

Source:, "Sears sheds three Alberta locations, freeing up prime real estate", Reid Southwick, June 22, 2017

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