American intimate apparel Aerie has construction signage up at Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver, B.C. within the “Park Royal South – Exterior” section. The store will replace an RYU store that once occupied the space. Retail Insider was onsite in late-May 2021 for the Retail Tour Update: Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver and the former RYU location had been emptied with no indication of the future tenant at that time.
Aerie is a lifestyle retailer and sub-brand owned by American Eagle Outfitters which launched in February 2006 in South Carolina. By 2011, the sub-brand had expanded to 147 stand-alone stores in Canada and the United States with 2% of the lingerie market. The Aerie website currently shows 46 locations in the lower mainland; however, this included shared spaces with American Eagle as well.
A casualty of restructuring, Vancouver-based RYU (Respect Your Universe) Apparel issued a flurry of news releases in the past few months as it has embarked on stabilizing the retail operations with an optimistic outlook for the future. In Retail Insider’s CEO interview in March 2021, it was noted that the athletic brand RYU announced in February of 2020 several store closures to coincide with its restructuring. In a letter to shareholders, Marcello Leone, the company’s CEO, President and Chairman of the Board at the time, described 2019 as the retailer’s most challenging year since inception. Just over a year ago, the company had a total of 11 stores — there are now just three left in Toronto, Vancouver, and Williamsburg, NY.
Specific to the Park Royal location, the former 3,967 square foot retail space had been designed by architect Tony Robins with the same industrial-modern aesthetic look as RYU’s award winning flagship store in Vancouver’s Kitsilano. The brand’s third retail store location opened at Park Royal Shopping Centre in 2017.
We will update this bulletin as the retail updates come in for this location.