Customers arriving at Sears in Amherst got a surprise Friday morning in the form of a closed sign. The franchisee said he is ending his relationship with the company.
UPDATE: 1:25 p.m.
AMHERST – Just a week after acquiring a new major tenant, the Amherst Centre has lost another one.
Customers arriving to the Sears store in the mall were surprised to see a closed sign on the door and a note telling them to call a toll-free number.
It’s unknown why the store closed, but franchisee Ned Douglas left a message on Facebook earlier in the day saying he and his wife, Kathy, have decided to part ways with Sears Canada.
“The store is now closed and I’m not sure of its future, but it’s time to move on for us,” Douglas said in his post. “It’s been a fun few years and we thank our customers for all the support.”
Douglas was not available for further comment on Friday morning, but customers coming to the store were disappointed to find the store closed.
“That’s too bad, I really enjoyed shopping there and Ned was a great guy to deal with,” said one customer who did not want to give his name. “Hopefully they find someone to take it over.”
Vincent Power of Sears Canada said the company is aware of the Amherst closure.
“We are definitely seeking an owner who can operate the store,” Power said. “Amherst has always been a good market for us even going back to the early catalog-only days and we look forward to resuming our hometown store operations there.”
Power said a notice was posted on the store’s door so customers who had ordered parcels either online or through the catalog would know the company is working to reroute their parcels to them.
“We have many loyal customers in Amherst and the surrounding area and look forward to resuming our operation there soon,” Power said.
Power said hometown stores are owned and operated by local business people who run the Sears marketing program so the company can bring major appliances, outdoor power equipment, mattresses and electronics to smaller communities where putting a full-line department store is not possible.
Sears has been located in Amherst for many years. It was formerly located in the old Cumberland Mall and moved to a new location in the Amherst Centre when the mall went through a major expansion more than a decade ago.
Last week Giant Tiger moved into a new 17,000 square-foot facility that took up part of the space vacated when Zellers left the mall after its Canadian operations were acquired by Target.
Sears Canada has been going through some tough times of late and a story in the Huffington Post last month suggested the company is considering selling its Canadian operations.
Since January, the company has announced plans to cut 2,200 employees on top of the several thousand it cut last year.