CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The Sears store in Charlottetown opened with ceremony on St. Patrick’s Day in 2005, with then-premier Pat Binns and Mayor Clifford Lee on hand.
But the store’s final day for merchandise sales on Monday was announced much more quietly with a red “Attention Customers” sign posted on the glass doors of the entrance.
“Sears has always been kind of a Canadian landmark store,” said Stephen Sibley of Summerside in the store’s parking lot Monday afternoon.
Sibley and his wife stopped by the store to look around but didn’t buy anything.
He explained there wasn’t much left for either of them in clothing their size. The couple moved to P.E.I. from Vancouver this summer.
“Once thing we’ve found since we’ve moved here is there is far less variety in shopping than what we’re used to,” he said. “I think it’s a bad thing for the overall shopping situation on the Island.”
The parking lot was more than half full Monday afternoon. But except for a few racks of clothing and shoes, there wasn’t a lot of merchandise remaining. Even so, customers were still making purchases and signs announcing discounts up to 80 per cent were on display.
The company was founded in 1952 as Simpson-Sears and officially changed its name to Sears Canada in 1984.
The 108,000 square-foot Charlottetown store avoided the first round of 59 store closures in Canada announced in June. In October, the company received court approval to liquidate its remaining 130 stores. It has been estimated that about 12,000 employees were still employed by the company in October.
The Charlottetown store will remain open until Jan. 21 for fixture sales, according to the sign.