FINANCE

Sears Canada sells minority stake in Quebec shopping center

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto – Sears Canada Inc. has entered into an agreement for the sale of its 15% minority ownership interest in the Centre commercial Les Rivières shopping centre in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, for $33.5 million. Ivanhoé Cambridge, who holds the center in a joint arrangement with Sears Canada, is purchasing the 15% interest that it does not already own from Sears.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is scheduled to close on June 2. Sears will continue to operate its department store in the shopping center, and Ivanhoé Cambridge will continue to manage the property. This transaction will have no effect on associates employed at the store, nor on the operation of the store.

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REAL ESTATE

Taubman offers free Web access to mall tenants

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bloomfield Hills, Mich. – Mall operator Taubman, through its preferred vendor, Single Digits, will offer free basic Internet access to all tenants in 20 of the regional and super regional malls it manages across the U.S. Beginning in the summer, a business-class T1 equivalent service will be offered free of charge to tenants leasing space in Taubman-owned and managed properties.

"We know that the best retailers are pursuing omni-channel customer engagement strategies," said Taubman CTO Michael Osment, "That requires fast, secure Internet access to execute both customer-facing programs and back-of-the-store operations."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Office Depot launches combined Office Depot, OfficeMax ad

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. – Office Depot and OfficeMax are now offering a single, combined insert in Sunday newspapers representing products and services being offered at both brands’ retail stores. The move marks the first advertisement where Office Depot and OfficeMax customers will see the two national brands together as one.

The insert also features tips on additional ways customers can shop via website, mobile app or via phone.

“Bringing together the latest products and services available at Office Depot and OfficeMax into one combined insert will help to position us as a strong, singular company with our customers,” said Tim Rea, executive VP marketing for Office Depot, Inc. “The move also reflects our approach in looking at each market holistically for both brands to better understand, engage and service our customers.”

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