Top News - National:

Canadian Retail sales inch higher to $49B in June

Canadian retailers reported higher sales for the fourth straight month in June, as just about everything except cars and gasoline stations saw higher sales.

Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that sales at general merchandise stores rose 2.9 per cent in June, while clothing and accessories stores saw a 2.7 per cent gain. Building material and garden supply stores saw 2.2 per cent higher sales...

Sears Canada: The timeline of its slow motion collapse -

The retail giant has been led by five different people in four years, as it faces declining sales, store closures and layoffs. "Sears Canada should probably just install a revolving door on the corner office. Executive chairman Brandon Stranzl gave up his day-to-day duties at the company last week to work on a bid for the beleaguered retailer, which is currently undergoing a court-supervised restructuring. He became the fifth shot-caller at the company to depart in just four years."...

Sears employees argue last-minute bid for Winnipeg store should be allowed

Lawyers representing Sears Canada Inc. employees and pensioners argued on Tuesday that a Toronto judge should allow a last-minute bid from one of Canada's largest retail-space owners to purchase a Sears store in Winnipeg, even though the insolvent retailer already has a deal in place with another buyer.

The court will decide by Friday whether to allow RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust to bid for the Sears Outlet store location in the Garden City Shopping Centre.

RioCan made its bid after Sears had already accepted a $5-million offer for the property from WCRE Investments Ltd.

Lawyers representing employees argue that RioCan's offer for $1-million more should be allowed to proceed because it would give more money to creditors, which include former employees...

Cominar Plans to Concentrate on its Core Markets and to Reduce Debt Level

Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust announced today its plan to concentrate on its core markets and to reduce its debt level.

Following the revision by DBRS of the credit rating for the REIT's unsecured debentures from BBB (low) to BB (high), Cominar is positioned to strengthen its balance sheet and enhance its flexibility. Cominar has decided to concentrate its activities on its core markets being the Province of Quebec and Ottawa, and to pursue the following initiatives:

to sell its properties located in regions outside its core markets which have an estimated fair value exceeding $1.2 billion;
to use the majority of the sales proceeds to reduce its debt-to-gross book value to below 48%, which becomes its new long-term debt target;
to use a portion of the sales proceeds to purchase for cancellation its units, depending on market conditions; and
to reinvest the balance of the sales proceeds in acquisitions and developments in its core markets.
"This plan will enable Cominar to capitalize on its leading positon in these core markets, and support our acquisition and development opportunities which continues to be an integral part of our growth strategy" said Michel Dallaire, Chief Executive Officer of Cominar...

Startup Canada Podcast: DavidsTea co-founder on building North American retail empires

David is a serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder of DavidsTea, a Canadian speciality tea empire with more than 200 stores across North America. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, guest host Janice McDonald talks to Segal about how branding can make or break a startup, and how he transformed the industry of one of the world’s oldest and most-loved beverages...

Grant Froese comes out of retirement | Canadian Grocer

Longtime Loblaw executive joins Hamilton-based Marquee Health Group.