BRIEF: Stores Shutting in Vancouver ‘Luxury Zone’, Bizou Shutting 30% of Boutiques

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Stores Closing in Downtown Vancouver’s ‘Luxury Zone’

Exterior of Versace store in Vancouver. Photo:  Montecristo Magazine
Exterior of Versace store in Vancouver. Photo: Montecristo Magazine

Two notable stores in downtown Vancouver’s ‘Luxury Zone’ will be closing this month. Versace, which has had a boutique presence in Vancouver for 34 years, will shut its standalone storefront on Thurlow Street just off Alberni Street. Crafting retailer Michaels, which has occupied a 15,730-square-foot space at 1022 Alberni Street for almost a decade, will shutter this month as well.

The 1,875-square-foot Versace space will be occupied by Thom Browne as reported in Retail Insider this week. It’s not yet known if the Michaels space has secured a tenant, though for years brokers have toured retailers through the space. A representative with Burberry noted the awkwardness of the Michaels space on Alberni Street which features a small main floor lobby and retail space with an escalator to a second level spanning more than 13,000 square feet. A large Brooks Brothers store is located downstairs from Michaels.

Prior to being tenanted by Michaels and Brooks Brothers, the two-level space was occupied by an Aldeasa duty free store. The store shut amid litigation following the removal of a tour bus parking space in front of it.

When Michaels opened on Alberni Street in 2012, some were scratching their heads at the move. Alberni Street was on a trajectory to become a luxury strip with Tiffany & Co., Hermes and Louis Vuitton anchoring the Burrard Street end of the street while Burberry had moved to the base of the Shangri-La Hotel at Alberni and Thurlow Streets. Other luxury brands have since moved into the area.

Michaels store at 1022 Alberni Street. Photo: pci-group.com

More changes could come to Vancouver’s Luxury Zone as German womenswear brand Escada struggles financially. At the same time, the small size of the Luxury Zone and interest from brands in the past could see new luxury names move into the area. The Luxury Zone could also be extended along Thurlow Street south of Robson Street as one development is planning a retail galleria that sources say will target luxury brands such as Chanel.

Retailer Bizou to Shutter 30% of its Stores

Exterior of Bizou store. Photo: Bizou
Exterior of Bizou store. Photo: Bizou

Quebec-based jewellery and accessories brand Bizou will shutter almost 30% of its retail locations, according to a French language report in La Presse this week. A total of 24 of the company’s 85 stores will be shut by the end of this month which will result in more headaches for landlords having to lease vacated spaces.

Bizou has almost $9.5 million in liabilities and Bizou International filed for bankruptcy in the fall of 2020. Lower rents have been negotiated (some percentage rent deals) and stores slated to close permanently will begin to do so next week. The article in La Presse states that even more Bizou stores could close.

Bizou’s losses are also related to Bizou’s exit from France in 2019 according to La Presse. Bizou’s creditor protection extends to February 3 and a line of credit from RBC is available until the end of March.

In 2015 we reported that Bizou was looking to operate between 250 and 300 stores in Canada and that a franchise parter was being sought for the western provinces.

Bizou’s stores are located primarily in Quebec with several other units in Ontario and the Maritimes. The stores set to close include: Galeries d’Anjou – Carrefour Laval – Center Eaton – Place Sainte-Foy – Galeries du Vieux-Port (Matane) – Place Donnacona – Center Alma – Carrefour Saint-Félicien – Plaza d’Alma – Carrefour Jeannois (Roberval) – Le Village (Baie-Saint-Paul) – Carrefour Gaspé – Place du Havre (Chandler) – Carrefour Assomption (Edmundston, New Brunswick) – Le Rond Point (Tracadie-Sheila, New Brunswick) – Bathurst Mall (Bathurst, New Brunswick) – Confederation Court Mall (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island) – Corner Brook Plaza (Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador) – St Laurent Center (Ottawa, Ontario) – Georgian Mall (Barrie, Ontario) – Masonville Place (London, Ontario. Stores already closed include: Place Charlevoix, La Malbaie – Rue Saint-Jean (Old Quebec) – Place Versailles (Montreal).

Heartland Town Centre Celebrates the Addition of Venture X

Exterior of Venture X-Heartland. Photo: Venture X
Exterior of Venture X-Heartland. Photo: Venture X

Mississauga’s premier outdoor big-box shopping centre has welcomed co-working company Venture X-Heartland to its lineup. The co-working and private office space is now the largest shared workspace in Mississauga and promotes itself as “the future of workspace”.

Located right next to the 401, at 600 Matheson Boulevard West in unit 5, Venture X-Heartland is the third Venture X space to open in the city. It offers everything one would need to run a business under one roof, including fully-equipped conference rooms designed for executive meetings and staff training, a private lounge area for team meetings, and private offices available for daily, weekly, and monthly use.

Venture X–Heartland is the perfect place to do business in the GTA, providing users with easy after-work-access to amenities such as restaurants, groceries, and shopping.

Suitsupply Outlet Offers Access to 2020 Collections That Didn’t Get a Fair Chance

Suitsupply 2020
Suitsupply 2020

Due to the unprecedented happenings of 2020, Suitsupply has launched an online Suitsupply Outlet — an opportunity the brand is calling a ‘once in a century’ occurrence. And since this year’s inventory didn’t get a fair chance, the brand has decided to add pieces from its newest collections to the outlet offerings.

The outlet went live on December 26th and is only available within Canada.

Update: Outlet inventory went very fast and the outlet closed on December 31st 2020.

Toronto’s First Zero-Waste Coffee Shop Opens on the Danforth

Interior of the Poured Coffee shop. Photo: Google
Interior of the Poured Coffee shop. Photo: Google

Toronto now has its first zero-waste coffee shop. Poured Coffee doesn’t use paper cups, containers, napkins or disposable products and instead serves its coffee in reusable cups.

Located at 2165 Danforth Ave, Poured Coffee shares its space with The Re Space — a community-based store offering a full range of sustainable products including bamboo toothbrushes and organic beauty products.

The initiative was started by entrepreneur, Mira Vuletic, who’s passion for coffee, owning her own coffee shop, and reducing Toronto’s contribution to landfills amalgamated to create Poured Coffee.

Since there are no paper cups available, customers are encouraged to bring their own travel coffee mug. For new customers who might’ve missed the memo, there’s the “Ugly Mug Library”, which includes a collection of donated mugs that are given as to-go cups. Alternatively, you can purchase a MiiR travel mug from the RE Place store with your coffee and get your next two drinks on-the-house.

Thierry Opens Second Vancouver Location

Exterior of new Thierry store in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver. Photo: Thierry Facebook
Exterior of new Thierry store in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver. Photo: Thierry Facebook

Thierry Mount Pleasant has opened its second location in Vancouver at 265 East 10th Avenue, just off Main Street and Kingsway Avenue.

Despite the current state of retail in Canada, Thierry successfully opened its second location just in time for the holidays. The chocolaterie, patisserie and cafe is known for its artisanal chocolates and classic French pastries by Chef Thierry Busset.

Widely regarded as one of North America’s finest pastry chefs, Busset has received rave reviews over the years from notable publications, such as Vancouver Magazine. Chef Thierry has focused the experience he gained from his multiple award-winning successes to open the first Thierry Cafe where he shares his dream of showcasing art through the science of patisserie. Thierry’s original location can be found at 1059 Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver.

Thierry’s Mount Pleasant location is open Monday – Sunday from 8am – 10pm.

Hillcrest Mall and Others Launch Centralized Pickup Service Amid Third Lockdown

Exterior of Hillcrest Mall. Photo: Hillcrest Mall
Exterior of Hillcrest Mall. Photo: Hillcrest Mall

Hillcrest Mall is the latest Oxford Properties mall to launch its centralized and curbside pickup service in the wake of a third lockdown in the Greater Toronto Area.

Working with select retailers within the centre, the Richmond Hill mall is providing locals with the means to shop their favourite stores despite the current situation. Hillcrest are encouraging those interested to contact the retailers directly (online or by phone) and there is a list of participating retailers featured on the mall website. Once you have placed your order with the store, you will be contacted by email notifying you of your pickup time. All curbside pickups will be conducted at Entrance 4 of the mall.

Other Oxford Properties malls, Yorkdale, Square One, and Scarborough Town Centre, are also supporting retailers by creating designated curbside and store front pickup locations for stores adapting quickly during this retail period by offering e-commerce or phone order fulfillment. Customers can visit the Yorkdale, Square One, and Scarborough Town Centre websites to see what stores are offering specialized services.

Lists of participating retailers should be consulted before planning purchases as the information is being updated in real time, said the company.

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