* Will return stores to developer for C$170 mln
* Follows similar moves at parent Sears Holdings
TORONTO, March 2 Sears Canada Inc
said on Friday it is shutting down three major downtown stores
in Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa, in a move that will allow it
to raise capital to reinvest in store refreshes at other
The department store chain, majority-owned by Sears Holdings
Corp, plans to close outlets at the Vancouver Pacific
Centre, the Calgary Chinook Centre and the Ottawa Rideau Centre
by Oct. 31. The Calgary store has been operating for nearly 50
It will return the locations to developer Cadillac Fairview
Corp Ltd for C$170 million. The transaction is
expected to close on or around April 20.
"While we had no plans to close stores, the transaction for
these three specific locations provides an attractive financial
benefit," said Chief Executive Calvin McDonald in a statement.
Sears Holdings said late last month it will raise about $770
million by spinning off parts of its business and selling prime
That announcement helped reassure Wall Street that the
retailer had enough assets to tap to pay down debt, sending
shares up nearly 19 percent.
Both companies have struggled with falling sales. In early
February Sears Canada cut regular prices for more than 5,000
products, part of a "transformation" to help it compete more