Drug store chain Rexall has shut its storefront at the Holt Renfrew Centre on the concourse level at 50 Bloor Street West in downtown Toronto. It’s the fourth Rexall location to close in downtown Toronto since June of this year.
Signage went up last week that the store would be closing and signs were posted letting those with prescriptions in the store know that their files had been moved to the Rexall store at the Yorkville Village shopping centre complex.
The closure of the Holt Renfrew Centre Rexall follows the closure of two downtown Toronto Rexall locations in June, including one at 48 Yonge Street at the corner of Wellington Street and another at 401 Yonge Street near Gerrard Street. A third Rexall, housed in a historic building once home to a dive bar on Bloor Street West at Brunswick Avenue, shut in July.
In Bloor-Yorkville, Rexall competed with Shoppers Drug Mart which operates three locations a short distance away. That includes a store on the concourse level of the Hudson’s Bay Centre which connects to the Holt Renfrew Centre, another Shoppers Drug Mart on the concourse of the Manulife Centre which also connects to the Holt Renfrew Centre, and a larger two-level Shoppers Drug Mart store at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Charles Street West. There are several others within a 10 minute walk.
The Holt Renfrew Centre Rexall store opened in 2019 after relocating from the concourse level of the Manulife Centre. The closure coincided with the ongoing renovation of the Manulife Centre which now houses Eataly and numerous other retailers.
While Shoppers Drug Mart has a stronger loyalty program, some consumers prefer shopping at Rexall because it staffs its tills with people rather than encouraging the use of self-checkout counters. Some Shoppers Drug Mart stores are actually directing consumers to self-checkouts with stores we’ve observed often having no one staffing checkouts at all. It’s a complaint about Shoppers Drug Mart we’ve heard from several readers recently which could lead to a decrease in consumer loyalty longer-term. One reader not wishing to be named said “Shoppers Drug Mart is going downhill and despite its narrative, it’s clear that the company values profits over actually offering a good retail experience for its customers”.