Sears Canada is closing five of its department stores, including its flagship location in Toronto's Eaton Centre, as part of a $400-million deal.
Sears plans to sell the leases of those five stores to mall operator Cadillac Fairview, in what would be the biggest sale since the retailer began shedding assets and cutting jobs in an effort to turn around its struggling operations.
The planned closure of the Eaton Centre location, by 2014, is notable as it is considered the company's flagship store and is in a central tourist area.
About 965 employees will be affected by the closure of the five locations, although Sears Canada says it will have the option to apply for other jobs within the company.
As part of the sale, Sears will close stores at Sherway Gardens in Toronto and London-Masonville Place in London, Ont., by February, and the Markville Shopping Centre in Markham, Ont., and Richmond Centre in Richmond, B.C., by February 2015.