Contrary to rumours, no deal for Walmart at Hillside, says mall management

If there is a deal coming for Walmart to open one of its stores at Hillside shopping centre, it has not been signed.

On Monday, Wayne Popowich, executive vice-president with Bentall Kennedy, the commercial real estate firm that manages Hillside Centre, said he didn’t know where the rumour was coming from.

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“There is no deal,” said Popowich, who would not comment on whether Bentall Kennedy is even talking to Walmart about the possibility of taking over the two-level, 149,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Sears.

“We don’t talk about ongoing negotiations with any tenants,” said Popowich. “I’m more than happy to comment when things are completed. But I don’t know where that came from.”

Bentall Kennedy is actively looking for tenants for the location, he said.

“It’s not fair to anyone involved, potentially other people who are interested in the space, that these types of things come up,” Popowich said.

“We’ve looked at single users. We’ve looked at splitting it. We don’t know where this is going to end up.”

In an email Monday, Anika Malik, director of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, said the company had no confirmed plans at this time.

There is already a Walmart Supercentre in Saanich’s Uptown Mall and another in Langford.

Sears was the anchor tenant when Hillside Shopping Centre opened in 1969.

The store, which used to employ 110 people, closed on Jan. 8. 2018.

The mall is home to a Thrifty Foods grocery store, Canadian Tire, Bolen Books, Marshalls, Shoppers Drug Mart and a B.C. Liquor Store.

On its website, Walmart describes itself as the largest retailer in the world, with more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites in 10 countries.

Walmart, which reported fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, employs about 2.2 million people worldwide.

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