It’s very unfortunate, but the death of brick-and-mortar retail stores is approaching and inevitable.

For decades, Canadian consumers have been accustomed to traditional retail stores where they could purchase all their clothing, gifts and groceries under one roof. The model, which emerged in the 1960s, is under serious threat now as consumers are opting to do their shopping online: no line ups, no waits for parking spots and no need to get out of bed. A key indicator of this change is the number of retail stores that have exited from the Canadian markets in recent years, citing loss in profits and bankruptcy. Here are just ten examples:



10. Mexx

Mexx is an international clothing and accessories store company for men, women and children. It was founded in the Netherlands in 1986. In December, 2014, the company declared bankruptcy. 315 Mexx stores are set to close early this year, including the 95 locations in Canada.


9. Sony Corp.

Last month, the Japanese electronics company, Sony Corp., announced that it will be closing all 14 retail stores in Canada over the next 6-8 weeks. The closures will affect 90 employees. Sony will continue to sell their products through third-party companies, such as Best Buy and The Source. What they don’t realize is that Best Buy is also facing losses and diminishing profits.


8. Holt Renfrew

Holt Renfrew
Holt Renfrew is a chain of high-end Canadian department stores specializing in a group of luxury brands and designer boutiques. At the end of January, 2015, the luxury retailer will be closing its stores in Ottawa and Quebec City. At the same time, it will be expanding its markets in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal.


7. Jacob

Jacob is a women’s’ retail store that was founded in Montreal in 1977. In October, 2014, it announced that it would stop restructuring efforts and close 92 stores all across the country instead. The company has been under credit protection since November, 2010. The company was beset with neck-in-neck competition from discount retailers, such as H&M and Nordstrom.


6. Sam’s Club

Sams Club
Sam’s Club is an American wholesale retailer owned by Walmart. In 2009, Wal-Mart Canada announced that it was closing all six Sam Club stores operating in Ontario. Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. Inc. took over the locations and bought the properties from Walmart.


5. K-mart

Kmart is an American chain of discount department stores with operations all across the United States. It previously operated stores in Canada, Mexico and Eastern Europe. In 1998, Hudson’s Bay Company acquired 51 Kmart stores and converted most of them to Zellers outlets, including the flagship location in Toronto.


4. Radio Shack

Radio Shack
Radio Shack Corporation is an American franchise of electronic retail stores. It has locations in the United States as well as in Europe, South America and Africa. In Canada, Radio Shack was run by a company called InterTan, which was acquired by Circuit City in 2004. One week after purchase, Radio Shack sued InterTan and a U.S. district court judge ruled in favor of Radio Shack. The agreement was cancelled and all 950 Radio Shack stores were rebranded under the name, The Source by Circuit City. In 2006, Radio Shack decided to open its own 9 retail stores as well as 16 deal stores. Nearly a year after, Radio Shack announced that it will close the stores to focus on the American market. As for The Source by Circuit City, it was eventually bought out by Bell Canada and rebranded as The Source.


3. Zellers

We spoke about Zellers in point number 5 when writing about K-mart. Zellers became the owner of K-mart stores when the discount retailer withdrew from the Canadian market. In 2011, Zellers sold its leasing rights to 200 Zellers locations to U.S. retailer Target for $1.83 and ceased to exist. Unfortunately, doom followed Target as well and now Target too is exiting Canada.


2. Sears Canada

Sears Canada
Sears Canada is a retailer that operates in all provinces and territories with a network of 196 corporate stores. It was formed in 1952 as a joint venture of Simpson’s and United States’ retailer Sears, who now owns 51% of the shares. In 2013, Sears Canada announced the closing of 5 of its department stores, including its flagship location in Toronto Eaton Centre. 965 employees were affected by the closure.


1. Target Canada

Target Canada
In 2013, Target arrived in Canada with a big fan base. After testing out the waters for 2 years, the U.S. retailer has declared bankruptcy and is set to close its 133 locations by April of this year. What did it? A lackluster holiday shopping season put the final nail in Target Canada’s coffin. 17,000 employees are affected by the closures.

If you are a brick and mortar retail business looking to stay afloat during the latest retail crisis, give iRISEmedia, the leading Digital Marketing Company in Canada, a call. We’ll be glad to help you establish an online presence with our dedicated Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing services.

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