Lorri Brookes

Lorri Brookes

Sears in Nanaimo celebrates milestone

NANAIMO – Sears Canada in Nanaimo celebrated a silver anniversary of sorts last Wednesday.

Sears Canada in Nanaimo celebrated a silver anniversary of sorts last Wednesday.

While the department store was been in the Harbour City since 1954, it celebrated 25 years at its current Nanaimo North Town Centre location.

Thomas Gemma, general manager of Nanaimo’s Sears, said employees were excited when the relocation took place in 1990 and felt similar sentiments after renovations and a grand re-opening took place two years ago.

Lorri Brookes, who joined Sears shortly before the move, reminisced about the changes that have taken place over the 25 years.

“Back then it was rotary dial phones, so when you were dialing a 1-800 number, it was a long (time),” said Brookes. “We had sheets and sheets of sales written down because nothing in those days came up at the till, so you really had to know what was happening in the store. It’s kind of nice now, everything is computerized.”

Ron Boire, president and CEO of Sears Canada, said Nanaimo has been a good community to be a part of and Sears isn’t averse to giving to the community, as witnessed by a $2,500 donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island.

However, the economic climate is changing, as witnessed by chains like Target and Future Shop closing up shop, necessitating the store remain viable.

“Our focus really is as you see here … being a store that’s focused on the community and serving our local community,” Boire said. “I think the success of Sears Canada is exactly that. We’re focused on community, we sort the products for the community, and obviously we’re in the community and we’re participating and I think that is a big differentiater.”