5 Things That Could Replace the Sears Location in Erin Mills Town Centre

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Retail is changing, and some once-beloved brick and mortar chains have come upon unspeakably hard times in Canada and beyond.

One of the most well-known victims of the e-commerce revolution?

Sears.

One of the North America's most famous department stores—the one with the legendary catalogue—began closing all of its locations in late 2017. The closure shocked the country and left thousands of people without jobs.

It also left massive pieces of prime real estate totally empty.

While Erin Mills Town Centre was able to welcome Walmart to the vacant Target space following that brand's unhappy retreat from the Canadian market, it has not yet announced who might be vying to fill the substantial space left behind by Sears.

For that reason, we've decided to come up with a list of things we'd like to see in the Sears space in one of the city's best looking malls in the not-too-distant future.

*Note, none of these retailers have indicated that they're coming to the Sears location in EMTC. This is just our "wishlist."


5) Sonic Boom

While we don't believe the popular independent record store that occupies a generous piece of real-estate on Spadina in TO has declared any plans to expand westward, we think we'd be a good choice for another location. For those who don’t know, Sonic Boom is an Indigo-sized music store offering an absolutely staggering selection of vinyl, CDs and DVDs. It’s the perfect destination for shoppers who long to return to a time when music was more substantial and collectible than it is now. A time where you could hold a record in your hands and interact with the medium in a more intimate, physical way. Mississauga seems to like vinyl, as Ric's Recollections and Archtop Cafe have both carved out niches for themselves in Port Credit. The city has also taken to the relatively new Urban Outfitters location in Square One. Perhaps a Sonic Boom will appeal to all those young professionals moving into those brand spankin' new EMTC condos?


4) A Small Ikea

Ikea locations are typically much too large to be attached to malls, but a "mini-Ikea" would probably do well in a growing neighbourhood that's welcoming a slew of sleek new high-rises. So while the unoccupied space is nowhere near as generously sized as the Ikea locations in Burlington and Etobicoke, it could offer a more modest showroom and warehouse area. With more young families and professionals moving into the condos and more condos and townhouses being built, a lot of residents are in the market for stylish furniture at a comforting price point. People also want easy access to glorious meatballs.


3) A Higher-End Grocery Store

Not to steal from Square One's playbook, but if that vast shopping centre has taught us something, it's that high-end and affordable grocers can co-exist peacefully. Right now, local shoppers can hit up Walmart or Loblaws for their groceries. But what if some of them want to treat themselves? What if they want faster access to a Whole Foods or a Pusateri's? While shoppers don't have to drive too far to shop at Whole Foods, they have to drive to Oakville to buy some artisanal, imported Italian cheeses from Pusateri's. For that reason, it might make sense to open up the space to a luxury grocer that can appeal to customers who want to spend a little extra on an impressive culinary gift basket.


2) A High End Fitness Facility

While some people might think a boutique fitness facility like Movati Athletic, Barry's Bootcamp or SoulCycle would do better in City Centre or Port Credit, they're probably mistaken. The neighbourhood has more than taken to the upscale Lifetime Fitness facility (the parking lot is always packed, even during the day) and would no doubt be interested in a more luxurious workout that's tightly focused on one particular exercise (such as spinning, in the case of SoulCycle). While the space is likely too large for just one SoulCycle or Barry's studio, parts of it could certainly be used to house a unique (and boutique!) workout space. On the flipside, the location could also be used to house a more mid-range or affordable gym.


1) A Foodie Mecca

A few years ago, we suggested that the old Sport Chek location on Rathburn Rd. be turned into Mississauga's very own St. Lawrence Market. It has since become a Solutions (which is very useful), but our foodie dream has been far from trampled. As you may or may not know, Square One is hard at work on its Food District—a new area of the mall that will offer local, handmade and high-quality foods. And while we're excited to see how the project shapes up, we're also pretty confident that a food-centric development could work in another part of the city. Like City Centre, the area around EMTC is growing (the city has even identified it as a possible target for intensification) and more and more people are looking for places to eat. An elevated food court or even an all-year-round farmers' market could function beautifully in the space.

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