Canadian Tire to move

Target: Lease purchase would mean Zellers closure.

Canadian Tire will be moving to the Mall at Piccadilly in the spring of 2013, if all goes according to plan.

Jack Juusola, owner of the Salmon Arm franchise, said Canadian Tire has negotiated taking over the Zellers store location.

“It was absolutely confirmed last Friday,” he told the Observer on Friday, Sept. 23. He said the takeover will take place in the fall of 2012, after which time work would begin on the site to accommodate Canadian Tire’s needs. That could include a service centre, garden centre and warehouses.

“I don’t imagine they have any plans yet on how it will look. The plan is, sometime in the spring of 2013, a Canadian Tire will be opening there.”

Juusola said he will be giving up ownership of the franchise when it moves. He knows the new store will be bigger, but the new dealer will oversee all details.

Canadian Tire will remain open in its present location until it moves in the spring of 2013.

Zellers, however, will apparently be closing its doors, possibly in late 2012.

Zellers staff in Salmon Arm referred calls to Zellers’ communications department. Tiffany Bourré, external communications manager for HBC, said she couldn’t speak to specifics in Salmon Arm, but said the agreement Zellers has is with Target, not Canadian Tire or any other retailer.

“Target is prepared to provide six to eight months’ notice of store closures… If it was a Canadian Tire, they would provide the same notice as per the agreement with Target. At the very minimum, Zellers would receive a six-month notice…”

She also said if a Zellers location is taken over, there would be no plans to move a Zellers into another spot in the same town.

Target spokesperson Amy Reilly said her company issued a media release on Sept. 23 that outlines as many details as the company is willing to provide on specific locations.

The release, issued from Minneapolis, Minn. states that Target Corporation has finalized its real estate transaction with Zellers Inc. with the purchase of 84 additional Zellers leases, bringing the total, including 105 announced in May, to 189. Of the 84, “Target has acquired the leasehold interest for 29 locations, the vast majority of which will open as Target stores beginning in 2013. The remaining leases have been sold or will be sold to other Canadian retailers or back to landlords.”

It lists 11 stores in B.C. as part of the final 84 Canada-wide. Salmon Arm’s is one. The release refers to three possible outcomes for each on the list: “Includes potential Target stores and leases sold to other retailers or back to landlords.”

Although some media outlets have reported that the Salmon Arm Zellers location will become a Target store, that’s not what the release or the Target spokesperson states, nor what the owner of the Salmon Arm Canadian Tire store has been told.

Target’s Reilly would say only that one of three things will happen at each of the 84 locations.

“We can’t be more specific about that…”

Co-owner of the Mall at Piccadilly, Bill Laird, said he and his partner have heard what’s being talked about, but have received nothing in writing.

“We have no official word and no signed paper… We anticipate knowing by the end of the month; we think there will be a change, but we don’t have it officially.”

He said the mall would definitely not be buying back the lease.

In Target’s release, it also states that the 84 leases include 39 whose rights were transferred to Walmart. Walmart states that only one of those is in B.C. – and that’s in Prince Rupert.


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