Monday, 16 October 2017


This is a uniquely Canadian post, but... I'm kinda bummed about the whole Sears going under thing.

I'll first go back to growing up on the mainland and the Woodwards store in Vancouver going under.  Yeah, the big giant rotating W and everything.  That was... strange. 

And I'm not terribly surprised, I suppose, about Sears.  I haven't really done any clothes shopping there in a long long while  But, to be fair, I haven't done a lot of clothes shopping at all in a while so....

I guess there's still the Bay for now.  For, you know, undies and socks, but Sears has just... always been around.  I'm sad they won't be anymore.

We also lost our Safeways around here.  I didn't follow that story too closely to see if it was an Island thing or a West Coast thing or a Canada thing but... where are we all spending our money?

Is it going to the "big box" stores like Walmart?  Or online with Amazon and the like?  Did we move away from catalogues only to move back to a catalogue-like ordering system online?

Which makes me think back to Christmas when whoever (was it Sears?) would send our their big catalogue.  And in later years, it came with a pull out toy only section.  I would go through that thing and circle the things I wanted Santa to bring.  I somehow figured he'd either be watching or would pop down and read it or something.  Not that it was a fool-proof method.  I never did get that Easy Bake oven after all.  And the catalogues never had ponies or puppies.  But hey... it was worth a shot, right?  I mean, Santa doesn't bring EVERYTHING you want.  (Still kind of mad about that Easy Bake though.)

So yeah... Sears is... done.  And at least one of the local malls here is going to have to find a new "flagship" (or whatever the term is) store.  People here are salivating for an IKEA.  Y'all?  We're not getting an IKEA.  And if we were, it's not going in *that* mall.  (They're standalone stores for pete's sake.)

I don't know why this one is striking me as sadder than some of the other closures.  Money is weird.  Retail is weird.  I wonder what all the people will do who have had a career in that store (those stores.)

The times they are a-changing?


Blogger Jason Langlois said...

Sears going down is more complicated than just competition with Amazon. Awful management from the top, a corporate culture change that botched things, hedge fund/investors manipualting stock to maximize divdends, etc... basically, I think what make this suck more than Woodwards (I remember going there in Mayfair mall) or K-Mart or Zellers going down is that this feels more like corporate murder than anything else. I miss that toy catalogue too, though. Circling stuff in that was always so much fun.

The Safeways thing is local to us - Sobey's bought them up, but since they already owned Thriftys, and due to competition laws or something, they were forced to sell their Safeway stores here - which is why they turned in Save-On Foods stores. On my recent foray into Alberta it was kind of strange to see Safeway stores all over the place there.

And you're so right about IKEA - no way is it going to go into Hillside.

Monday, October 16, 2017 9:20:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woodwards was my store growing up, we went as a family every saturday (New Westminster) shopped there, ate there, got groceries there. The Christmas windows were amazing. But the Sears catalogue was everything-me & my sister would play "pickses" on everything we wanted I'm sure it drove my parents nuts. I guess I am old since I have never shopped on-line. How do you know what something fits like or looks good unless its in person? I get electronics & non personal stuff being bought without actually seeing it but am I the only one who goes to an actual store & will there be any left soon? I would love an ikea on the island! I was told there was a small Ikea store in Victoria at one time (not sure maybe you know better)in the Capital Iron building? or is that a myth?

Monday, October 16, 2017 1:11:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

We really have gone through (lost) a bunch of stores the last while eh? Thanks for the info, and yeah, I felt the same when I went shopping in Port Angeles... oh look, Safeway!

Yeah Brandi, the Woodwards downtown (Van) was epic. I miss it a lot! And yeah, for online shopping it's a bit odd. I get clothes only if I've tried them on previously, so it's more like re-buying, but many onlines stores have decent return policies. I still go to actual stores (like London Drugs) for... I dunno, stuff? But malls? I tend to stay out of. I've also heard there was once an IKEA on the Island.... not sure where, before my time, but yeah... all I've heard is it didn't work out and they "won't be back" But I do hear rumours from time to time ;)

Monday, October 16, 2017 7:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Elliott said...

Sears failing was more about the parent company pillaging the cash from a relatively successful business to fund a not successful one. Sears had a good on-line presence, had great brands (Craftsman, Kenmore), and was well positioned in many markets in Canada. But when the parent company consistently draws out the excess cash to fund the parent company and pay ridiculous bonuses or huge share buy-backs survival is almost impossible. I miss the catalogues too...such a great memory from childhood.

I miss the Simpson's and Eaton's Christmas displays that were always so beautiful in the two London stores. I remember going to those stores just to see the window displays. Such good memories.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 6:09:00 am  
Blogger Jason Langlois said...

IKEA was on the island, back when it was primarily known for hardwood shelving and avant garde minimalist design. Small store on the high end of Yates. My parents invested in some shelving from there about 40 years ago now, that's still seeing solid use in my brother's house.

Now they're huge box store, and apparently have a high threshold of possible customers that the entire population of the island can't quite meet (but Vancouver apparently does twice over, since they get two stores, he said without a hint of envy in his voice).

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 8:31:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Elliott, window displays used to be quite a thing to see, eh? I maybe have never seen a big big town (bigger than Vancouver, say) display, I've loved the ones I've seen.

Saturday, November 18, 2017 2:50:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Well that's super cool info Jason!

Saturday, November 18, 2017 2:50:00 pm  

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