Sears spends $2M on Iris move

Department store retailer Sears is planning to spend $2 million on fitting up its new location in the Ikea plaza.

The struggling national chain, which recently announced it would close its Rideau Centre location, has contracted Aecon Construction Group to perform the fit-up at 2685 Iris St.

Sears used to occupy a 50,000 square-foot-location in the same mall. However, when Ikea built its new location nearby, the Sears store ended up being just four feet away from Ikea's front entrance.

"The Sears home building is blocking 50 per cent of the front of our store," said Ikea's Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick in a November interview. "We need to redirect the flow of traffic."

In November, Ikea said Sears would move into its old spot in the mall, taking up 79,000 square feet. There is still 18,000 vacant square feet in that space; at the time, Ikea would not disclose plans for the remaining area.

Last month, Sears said it would close its 240,000-square-foot location at the Rideau Centre by the end of October, along with locations in Vancouver and Calgary. Its departure is expected to open up the market to prominent retailers rumoured to be considering Ottawa, such as H&M and Victoria's Secret.

In the National Captial Region, Sears also has locations at the St. Laurent Centre, Carlingwood Mall and across the Ottawa River in Hull and Aylmer.