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This article was published 23/8/2018 (424 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Those seeking authentic ingredients for the Filipino dishes they crave will have one more place to shop come next summer.
Filipino-American grocery chain Seafood City Supermarket is opening a 43,000-square-foot store in Garden City Shopping Centre in the former Sears site, which has sat empty since last fall.
Seafood City specializes in Filipino products and ingredients, as well as other imported Asian products. As its name suggests, it also offers fresh seafood, meat and produce.
According to the chain's website, when the original owners immigrated to the U.S. they couldn't find the Filipino ingredients they wanted, instead having to opt for similar ingredients from other Asian grocers.
The former Sears location is currently being gutted by construction crews. Parts of the walls were knocked out on Thursday, with cement slabs and rebar piled up outside.
Ruschel Cornejo, a Filipino Winnipegger, works nearby. "It's good, because there's a lot of Filipino people in this area," she said of the store opening. "(For) a lot of Filipino mallwalkers — especially the older ones, it will be exciting."
The chain has stores across the U.S., though most locations are in California. The first Canadian store opened in Mississauga in September 2017.
The former Sears site is 92,000 square feet — the mall's owner, RioCan, intends on dividing the remaining space, leasing most of it to another large tenant, then splitting the rest into smaller retail locations. The entire mall is 379,681 square feet, with 70-plus units. Seafood City will anchor the north side of the mall, adjacent to Leila Avenue and McPhillips Street, where a new entrance will be built.
RioCan purchased the space from Sears Canada Inc last fall, days after the retailer had a liquidation sale and shuttered its doors, putting 81 people out of work. At the time, the mall was in the midst of a $9-million renovation meant to expand the food court and improve energy efficiency. RioCan now owns all of the property on the site.
When asked about the future of the mall, the spokesperson said: "We definitely believe the future is bright for Garden City, which is why we made such a significant investment in redeveloping the property and finding tenants who will enhance our ability to meet the everyday needs of the community."
Sears Canada Inc. ceased all operations earlier this year on Jan. 14. Another former subsidiary of the U.S.-owned Sears Holdings, Sears Mexico, has been owned entirely by Mexican conglomerate Grupo Carso since 2007.
On Thursday, Sears Holdings announced it is closing 33 more Sears stores in the U.S. this November.