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Sears History 1963 to 1967

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Fleur de Lys 1963Until 1963 there wasn't a single store in Quebec. That hurdle was overcome with great fanfare with the opening of the Fleur de Lys 'A' store in Quebec City. Elsewhere in the country, the Company had refocused its retail operations on the growing suburbs and malls that were now sprouting up across Canada. The first Simpsons-Sears store to open in one of the new enclosed malls was in Edmonton at the Meadowlark Shopping Centre. Meadowlark was the only other store opened that year and it proved to be a prototype for the Company's next big wave of retail expansion. It was a wave that would leave the 'D' stores behind. The last of them was phased out by the end of the year.

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Simpson Sears 1963



Golden cage for hatsAn ambitious five-year $20,000,000 expansion campaign was launched. The goal was to put a store in every Canadian community with a population of 50,000 or more. One new store was opened in 1964. It was a large 'A' store in Richmond, B.C. and became the Company's second in the Vancouver area.




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Sport Advisory CouncilOn April 5th, Simpsons-Sears Limited began public trading of its Class 'A' non-voting shares on the Toronto and Montreal Stock Exchanges under the symbol SSR. The public was eager to buy them.

The Company's public profile got another boost with the creation of the Sports Advisory Council. It was an idea pioneered by Sears, Roebuck who signed up high profile athletes to endorse its sports equipment.

Another innovation introduced in 1965 was decidedly less glamorous and its name was hardly catchy. Yet the Speaker Sortation System would revolutionize the Mail Order side of the business. During peak periods such as Christmas, the system sorted up to 65,000 parcels a day. Catalogue circulation had now hit an all-time high of almost 1,900,000 which meant that in 1965 almost two out of every five households in Canada received one. On the retail front, two new 'A' stores opened their doors, one in Kitchener, Ontario and another at Calgary's Chinook Centre. By the end of 1965 the Company had a total 26 stores.

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Craftsman Sander"The Board of Directors of Simpsons-Sears Limited at the annual meeting of shareholders held in Toronto on Thursday, April 14, 1966 announced the election of J.C. Barrow as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, and the election of Douglas J. Peacher as President."

A new store in St. Catharines' Pen Centre opened in May and put an emphasis on automotive accessories, sporting goods and a whole array of barbecues, lawn mowers and patio furniture. It also offered such services as a travel bureau and a beauty parlour. For the first time net sales exceeded the $400,000,000 mark and the best was yet to come.

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Executive MagazineThe opening of the St. Laurent Store in 1967 brought the total number of stores to 28. The St. Laurent Store was an 'A' store in every sense of the term. It was the most modern department store in Canada and served as the anchor in the capital's first enclosed, climate controlled shopping mall. The Board had something else to celebrate. Net sales had increased 15.3% over the year before and net earnings jumped a very impressive 26%.






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