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Retail Profile: Guildford Town Centre in Surrey During COVID-19

Retail Insider continues its Photo Tour series of Canadian malls to provide a window into shopping centres which may be less frequented lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition takes us to Guildford Town Centre in Surrey, near Vancouver, which is the third largest mall in the province after Metropolis at Metrotown (see our Metropolis and Metrotown photo tour) in Burnaby and Park Royal Shopping Centre (see our video tour of Park Royal) in West Vancouver.

Google Map of Guildford Town Centre Location

History of Guildford Town Centre

Guildford Town Centre was built in 1966 and has undergone several renovations. Under the ownership/management of Ivanhoe Cambridge, the latest modernization renovation began in 2010 and in 2014 across three phases. The first phase focused on a new Walmart Supercentre and a two story parkade and completed in 2011. The second and third phases focused on modernizing the existing interiors as well as adding 200,000 square feet to the south end, including a 1,034-seat food court and 75 new stores.

Upper Level Mall Entrance from new, southern two-level parkade – Photo by Lee Rivett
Upper Level Mall Map of Guildford Town Centre.

The Guildford Shopping Centre has two retail shopping levels. To separate the shopping centre into manageable pieces, we’ll divide the centre into five zones for each floor/level. Based on the map above, the quadrants break down to the ‘right addition’, ‘lower centre’, ‘upper centre’, ‘upper left’ and ‘lower left’.

Upper Level ‘Right’ Zone tour at Guildford

Guildford Centre Mall Map – Upper Level with Right Zone Circled.

To start off the tour, we arrived and parked in the north parking lot and entered through entrance number nine on the lower level (ground level). To access the upper level, there is a very small entrance hall that hosts the BC Liquor Store, a Lyft ride share kiosk area and the anchor tenant, Life Instyle Furniture on the bottom floor of the large building at the extreme north end of the shopping centre.

Ground Floor anchor on north side of Guildford Mall

There are very few retailers on the ground level in this area as the majority of it is located on the upper level right accessible by escalators right inside of the doors. Urban Behavior occupies the floor above the furniture store and is located at the top of the escalators.

Urban Behavior as the Upper Level Anchor Tenant – Photo by Lee Rivett

What was unique about the second floor extension was that the retail was within an overpass above 104th Avenue. Once shoppers reach the Urban Behavior entrance, it is not readily noticeable that one is walking above a busy street below.

Overpass over 104th Avenue containing majority of retailers in this area

Stretching from Urban Behavior anchor to the Hudson’s Bay Store, notable retailers in this overpass zone include:

Atrium at the Guildford Shopping Centre

Guildford Mall Map – Centre Atrium Location

Once visitors trek over the overpass, the main shopping centre generally follows the shape of a square; however, there are some additional twists that keep this square ‘thinking outside of the box’. The centre atrium at the core of the shopping centre is a wide open space with living, green walls and provides a perfect space for events in a non-COVID era.

Guildford Atrium (South View) – Photo by Lee Rivett
Living Wall in Guildford Centre Atrium – Photo by Lee Rivett

Upper Level ‘Lower Centre’ Zone Tour at Guildford

Guildford Mall Map – Lower Centre Zone on Upper Level

Continuing the tour, the ‘lower-center’ zone has the historic and major anchor of Hudson’s Bay, but other major tenants in the area include UNIQLO, Old Navy, Atmosphere and Lululemon.

See related articles for these major tenants:

Other retailers amongst the larger retailers include:

Hudson Bay at Guildford Town Centre – Photo by Lee Rivett

We continued onward towards the lower left zone, passing by the side of UNIQLO with a view of the skylights and red ribbon to soften the aesthetics.

Corridor Outside of Uniqlo Guildford – Photo by Lee Rivett

Upper Level ‘Lower Left’ Zone Tour at Guildford

Guildford Mall Map – Lower Left Zone on Upper Level

Continuing the tour to the ‘lower-left’ zone, this area is accessible by the two-level parkade through entrance 10. The major anchor retailers in this area are on either side of entrance 10, being Thrifty’s by Bluenotes and Aritzia. Select other retailers amongst the larger retailers include:

Upper Level ‘Upper Left’ Zone Tour at Guildford

Guildford Mall Map – Upper Left Zone on Upper Level

Continuing the tour to the ‘upper-left’ zone, this area is accessible by the two-level parkade through entrance 11. The major anchor retailer in this area just inside of entrance 11 is H&M.

Related H&M articles include “H&M continues Canadian store expansion as it looks to sustainability” from October 2019.

Other select retailers amongst the larger retailers include:

H&M at Guildford – Photo by Lee Rivett

The corridor along the upper level between the left and center zones is quite open and expansive.

Upper Level Corridor at Guildford – Photo by Lee Rivett

Upper Level ‘Upper Centre’ Zone Tour at Guildford

Guildford Mall Map – Upper Center Zone on Upper Level

The last area of the mall the ‘upper-center’ zone, this area is accessible by the two-level parkade through entrance 6. The major anchor retailers in this area are London Drugs as well as Muji Canada. Related articles for the major anchor retailers for this area include:

Other select retailers amongst the larger anchor retailers included:

Muji at Guildford – Photo by Lee Rivett
London Drugs at Guildford – Photo by Lee Rivett

Before we leave the upper level, the high ceilings provide a theatrical and airy feel to the shopping centre.

Upper level Guildford (facing Ann Louise and Change) – Photo by Lee Rivett

Lower Level at the Guildford Shopping Centre

Heading down the escalators in front of Birks, we found ourselves on the lower level at the Artium. We could see grand views of the Hudson’s Bay and the architecture truely shone in the winter afternoon sunlight.

Atrium at Guildford from Lower Level – Photo by Lee Rivett

To organize the photo tour for the lower level, we separated the floor into three zones (upper zone, middle zone and lower zone) which we will run through for major tenants as well as the select retailers amongst them.

Lower Level “Upper” Zone Tour at Guildford

Guildford Mall Map – Upper Zone on Lower Level

Continuing the tour to the ‘upper-left’ zone, this area is accessible by ground level through entrance 5. Walmart Canada is the major tenant which isn’t directly accessible through the inside of the mall, but the lower floor of H&M is the other major tenant. Related articles for the major tenant (besides H&M which we previously covered) include:

Select other retailers amongst the larger retailers include:

H&M Man at Guildford from Lower Level – Photo by Lee Rivett
Walmart Canada (seen from upper level parkade) at Guildford – Photo by Lee Rivett

Lower Level “Middle” Zone Tour at Guildford

Guildford Mall Map – Middle Zone on Lower Level

Continuing the tour to the ‘middle’ zone, this area is to the left of the main atrium and above the main food court. Muji Canada and Sport Chek are major tenants. Select other retailers amongst the larger retailers include:

SportChek at Guildford from Lower Level – Photo by Lee Rivett
Muji at Guildford from Lower Level – Photo by Lee Rivett

Lower Level “Lower” Food Court Zone Tour at Guildford

The final area in our Guildford Town Centre tour is the food court area in the lower zone on the lower level.

Guildford Mall Map – lower food court zone on Lower Level

We had a very interesting photo walk around Guildford Town Centre, and we hope you enjoyed coming along with us. Don’t forget to check out the Yorkville photo tour in Toronto that came out earlier this month.

Article Author

Lee Rivett
Lee Rivetthttps://retail-insider.com
Lee Rivett, based in Vancouver, supports the digital distribution and technical backend operations of Retail Insider. This includes providing technical support for the editors during the digital publication cycle, streamlining virtual tools for the cross-country team and a variety of other duties which keeps the publication running smoothly.

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