UPDATED: Sears safe in Okanagan

Despite the closures across Canada, Sears in Kelowna is safe for now

UPDATED: 10:18 a.m.

“I would say that the decision to exit the stores we announced was based on many factors, but the primary motivator was that the company needed to scale back its operations,” said vice-president of Sears,Vincent Power.

Power added no changes will be made to the Kelowna store, and no announcements are currently planned for the future.

The quality of the employees at the outlets did not affect the decision for store closures, he said.

ORIGINAL:

Sears stores in the Okanagan are safe for now.

Sears Canada is closing more than half of its stores across the country, which includes stores in Grand Forks, Kamloops, Sechelt, Creston and Abbotsford in B.C.

Shares in the company were halted Thursday morning, after the retailer announced it would be seeking protection from its creditors.

One Calgary customer said she was sad to see Sears go in Calgary, as she searched the sales rack in the Kelowna store, which is located in Orchard Park Mall.

“The interest… it’s not really there. You can’t find as many people in the store,” said Helen Woessney, adding in Calgary the pay-for-parking lot may have had an affect on the store.

She used to buy all her clothes in Sears.

“It’s been a really good store for me,” she said.

Roughly 17,000 people are employed through Sears Canada, which opened in 1952. The retailers has 95 full-size department stores and 23 Sears Home stores as of April.

The Capital News has yet to reach a Sears spokesperson, but will update the story when information becomes available.