Retail Insider continues its Photo Tour series of Canadian malls to provide a glimpse into shopping centres which may be less frequented lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition takes us to CF Richmond Centre in the city of Richmond, British Columbia, which also is home to Vancouver International Airport.
The shopping centre is managed by Cadillac Fairview and currently has 165 retail stores with their main retail anchors being Hudson’s Bay, H&M, and Sport Chek.
History of CF Richmond Centre
CF Richmond Centre was built in 1980 when land was plentiful in Richmond and was originally named “Richmond Square Shopping Centre”. The Hudson’s Bay Company built its own building nearby and both shopping centres operated independently for almost ten years. In 1989, the two shopping centres combined and the end result resembles the present-day CF Richmond Centre.
In the 1990s, Richmond Centre competed with the nearby Lansdowne Centre which for a time was considered by many to be the ‘better’ of the two malls. Richmond Centre was anchored by Hudson’s Bay and Sears while Lansdowne’s anchors included Eaton’s and Woodward’s. Over the years Richmond Centre gained prominence through investment and new tenants while Lansdowne Centre began a slow decline which included losing both anchor stores. Several years ago plans were put in place to demolish Lansdowne Centre for redevelopment.
CF Richmond Centre has undergone the typical updating and renovations over the years, and in 2018 Cadillac Fairview and SHAPE announced a partnership to transform CF Richmond Centre into a 27-acre mixed-use, master-planned community. As of 2021, the presentation centre is currently open to the public.
CF Richmond Centre in Present Day
CF Richmond Centre is highly accessible by planes, trains, and automobiles. International travellers can easily access the shopping centre from the Vancouver International Airport using the Translink Skytrain system. The “Richmond-Brighouse” Skytrain station was opened in 2009 along with the rest of the Canada Line in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics. For the automobile-inclined, the centre has 3,201 parking spaces according to Cadillac Fairview’s leasing plan and is located at the major intersections of No. 3 road and Westminster Highway.
At a glance, the overall centre is a one-level retail playground. Its footprint is loosely in the shape of a rectangle and is bisected by a galleria running down the middle of the centre from exit 2 (the main entrance with the Cactus Club Cafe and White Spot Restaurants) to exit 5 (by APM Monaco and UNIQLO which also is next to the escalators to the upper Dining Terrace food court).
Breaking Up CF Richmond Centre
As previously mentioned, the roughly rectangular shopping centre has the centre galleria (highlighted in red below) almost precisely down the middle. For the purpose of this retail photo tour, we will be proceeding through the centre in the following five colour-encircled ‘tour zones’.
The tour zones include the following (with the corresponding colour coding):
- Galleria Centre Zone (Red)
- Lower Right Zone (Green)
- Upper Right Zone (Yellow)
- Upper Left Zone (Blue)
- Lower Left Zone (Purple)
Galleria Centre Tour Zone (Red)
CF Richmond Centre’s centre galleria is the heart of the popular mall. Richmond City Council recognized the importance of the galleria as a connection point when it cited benefits of the Cadillac Fairview and SHAPE recent redevelopment plans. These benefits included improved public foot traffic through the galleria to allow better access between No. 3 Road and Minoru Boulevard during transit hours.
The largest retail tenant is the Uniqlo store which opened in April 2018 and was the third to open in the Vancouver-area. It is the smallest Uniqlo in the province, sitting at 11,567 square feet according to the mall’s lease plan. Uniqlo’s Metropolis at Metrotown store, which opened in October 2017, is the largest in BC at 20,630 square feet. The second largest was Guildford Town Centre in Surrey at 12,800 square feet, which opened in March 2018.
The Uniqlo store faces numerous new retailers that have opened recently, including:
- APM Monaco: Upscale Monaco-based jeweller APM Monaco kicked-off its Canadian store expansion in spring 2019 by opening its 375 square foot corner storefront at CF Richmond Centre.
- Clinique: Estée Lauder-owned beauty brand Clinique, known for its skin care, cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances, opened its first standalone Canadian store in May 2018 at CF Richmond Centre.
- Colton’s Couture: The private shopping inspired luxury retailer opened the 1,500-square-foot CF Richmond Centre location in October 2017.
Other select retailers in the centre galleria include Michael Hill Jewellery, Swarovski, Blue Ruby, MAC Cosmetics, Peoples Jewellery, Siba Jewellers, Just Cozy, and The Body Shop.
Lower Right Tour Zone (Green)
Visitors arriving from the Canada Line Skytrain through entrance 2 can enter the “Lower Right Tour Zone” corridor if they make an immediate right at the Swarovski retail store. This smaller retail area is home to the major anchor retail tenants of H&M (25,402 square feet) and Shoppers Drug Mart (17,904 square feet).
The large frontage of the Uniqlo store results in facing numerous neighboring new retailers which opened recently including:
- Lao Feng Xiang: Lao Feng Xiang is China’s oldest jewellery brand, as well as the world’s 16th-largest luxury goods company opened its second Canadian storefront at CF Richmond Centre in July 2020. The first boutique opened in October 2015 on Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver.
- The history of Whoo: South Korea-based LG Household & Health Care opened the company’s first Canadian multi-brand retail store in December 2020 under ‘The history of Whoo’ banner.
- Change Lingerie (formerly ‘Change of Scandinavia’): Danish lingerie and fashion brand opened the 650-square-foot location in 2018. Change filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada last week and we are awaiting details on its future in Canada.
Other retailers in the ‘Lower Right’ tour area include The Face Shop, Lids, J2, Venus Home Furnishings, Soft Moc, La Vie en Rose, Hallmark Gold Crown, Claire’s Boutique, BonLook, and Bluenotes.
Upper Right Tour Zone (Yellow)
Two retail anchors dominate the square footage in the ‘upper right’ tour zone: Zara (19,142 square feet) and Hudson’s Bay (169,692 square feet). The Zara store boasts an expansive frontage onto the mall. The Hudson’s Bay store is considered to be one of the “better” locations for the company in the Vancouver area given its brand offerings and interiors.
In addition to HBC and Zara, other select retailers which we have reported on in Retail Insider include:
- Hugo Boss: The German luxury fashion house opened 2014 and spans 3,000 square feet
- Le Creuset: French cookware brand opened their 900-square-foot boutique in September 2018
Unfortunately, Belgian chocolate brand Godiva has announced that it would shut its 11 standalone Canadian storefronts by the end of March 2021. This location did not escape the closures as the retailer maintains its wholesale distribution which includes several shop-in-shops in retailers such as Hudson’s Bay as well as distribution in specialty, food, and pharmacy retailers.
Other retailers in the ‘upper right’ tour area include Journeys, Top Shop, Sleep County Canada, JAC by Jaqueline Conoir, Oak + Fort, Dynamite, Bikini Village, August Reign Shop, Lukfook Jewelry, Laura, Le Chateau, Yedina, After Five Fashion, Romia Shoes, and Purdys Chocolatier.
Upper Left Tour Zone (Blue)
When mall patrons enter the shopping centre from Minoru Boulevard through entrance 5, an immediate right turn around the APM Monaco (which we previously mentioned as part of the center galleria zone) brings them to the “upper left” tour zone. This stretch of retailers is anchored by Old Navy (20,126 square feet) and Sport Chek (45,494 square feet).
In addition to Sport Chek and Old Navy, Retail Insider reported on the opening of Scotch & Soda. The Amsterdam-based fashion brand opened its fourth Canadian store in April 2016 in partnership with Montreal-based Freemark Apparel Brands spanning 1,499 square feet.
Scotch & Soda is in good company with upscale retailers Kate Spade and Michael Kors nearby.
Other select retailers in the upper left tour area include INS Market, Sunglass Hut, Stay Fresh, Lego, Will Harry, Footlocker, QE Home, Hot Topic, American Eagle Outfitters, Champs Sports, Ardene, The Source, Roots Canada, Token, CNKW Handbags, Gladstone Jewellers, GNC (General Nutrition Centre), BB.GG Fashion, EB Games, Indigo, Vans, Sephora, Bailey Nelson, and Browns Shoes.
Lower Left Tour Zone (Purple)
The final retail tour zone is accessed from No. 3 Road as well as the Canada Line Skytrain system. The main entrance (number 2) brings patrons into the galleria and an immediate left turn would bring them into this retail area. The main retail anchor was once Sears Canada, the “lower left” retail zone still has several well-known brands including Apple (5,978 square feet), Urban Behavior (15,003 square feet and was previously a Forever 21 store), and Aritzia (7,449 square feet).
In addition to the above brands, other notable retailers which we have reported on in Retail Insider include:
- ECCO: The Danish footwear brand opened their CF Richmond Centre location in May 2018 spanning 1,359 square feet.
- Muji: Minimalist Japanese retailer Muji opened its eighth Canadian store at CF Richmond Centre in April 2018 followed closely by an expansion less than a year later.
Other select retailers in the lower left tour area include Ann-Louise Jewellers, Pandora, Nike Store, Saje Natural Wellness, Gymboree, Plenty, Steve Madden, MonteCristo Jewellers (replacing a recently shuttered location at Oakridge Centre), Aldo Shoes, Sketchers, Little Burgundy, Lululemon, Kiehl’s, Showcase, Zensanhuan Handcrafted Pans, and Buck or Two.
CF Richmond Centre Dining Terrace
While the shopping centre is predominantly only one level, there are escalators by Uniqlo in the central galleria that lead up to a second level. The architecturally attractive dining terrace is located on this level as well as entrances from the second level parking.
We had a very interesting photo walk around CF Richmond Centre, and we hope you enjoyed coming along with us. Don’t forget to check out our other retail photo tours over the past few months. Thank you for taking this tour with us, and thank you Geetanjali Sharma for taking photos for this article.
Discover More Related Retail Photo Tours From Retail Insider:
- Retail Photo Tour: McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver (February 20201)
- Photo Tour: The Ever-Changing Sherwood Park Mall in Sherwood Park, Alberta (February 2021)
- Photo Tour: Big Changes and New Retailers at Avalon Mall in St. John’s, Newfoundland (January 2021)
- Photo Tour: West Edmonton Mall Phase 1 and Phase 2 During COVID-19 (December 2020)
- Photo Tour: West Edmonton Mall Phase 3 and Phase 4 During COVID-19 (December 2020)
- Photo Tour: Guildford Town Centre in Surrey During COVID-19 (December 2020)
- Metropolis at Metrotown Photo Tour (December 2020)
- The Amazing Brentwood Photo Tour (December 2020)
- Yorkville Photo Tour (November 2020)
- Bloor Photo Tour (December 2020)
- The PATH Holiday Photo Tour (December 2020)
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