BRIEF: Safeway Closes 10 BC Stores, 256 Jobs Lost as UK Fashion Brand Closes Canadian Operations

By Helen Siwak, Retail Insider Brief Editor

Safeway at Lougheed mall is one of two Burnaby locations that will close for good on May 5. The other location is at Kingsway and Royal Oak Avenue. Photo:  BurnabyNow

Safeway at Lougheed mall is one of two Burnaby locations that will close for good on May 5. The other location is at Kingsway and Royal Oak Avenue. Photo: BurnabyNow

10 Metro Vancouver Safeway Stores Close as Owners Look to Discount: Ten Safeway stores in Metro Vancouver are closing in July which will impact many communities and as many as 1,000 employees.

Affected are the Lougheed Town Centre and Royal Oak locations in Burnaby, Sunwood Square in Coquitlam, Point Grey and City Square Shopping Centre stores in Vancouver, which will close permanently. All but the City Square store closed on Thursday, July 5. 

The other five stores that closed but could be relaunched as FreshCo stores, are Blundell and Broadmoor in Richmond, Newton Town Centre and Strawberry Hills in Surrey, and the Safeway in Mission.

There is speculation that these five stores may reopen under the FreshCo brand depending on whether the unions representing the grocery store workers (UFCW 1518, UFCW 247 and the bakers’ union), can negotiate a new collective agreement.

Sobeys owners Empire Company has been researching buying patterns in the Canadian west and finds that ‘small box’ discount and the Sobeys FreshCo discount supermarket chain are more in-line with shoppers wants.

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Enticing Sub-Lease Opportunity on St. Catherine’s Street for High Traffic Lover: Situated in the center of Montreal’s retail universe, the 2,406-square-foot location at 1253 St. Catherine Street presents an unprecedented opportunity to position your banner amongst the world’s top luxury boutique brands.

1253 St. Catherine’s is the strongest retail corner in downtown Montréal—at the intersection of renowned Rue Sainte Catherine and De La Montagne—1253 places you in the international spotlight and epicenter of activity and traffic. This location provides an unprecedented opportunity to be in the heart of luxury, and with lucrative flexibility on terms due to this unique sublease opportunity.

As part of a multi-story retail building located next to Forever 21, The North Face, Armani Exchange, Steve Madden, Guess, Anthropologie and many other boutique retailers and restaurants.

1253 St. Catherine Street’s availability is 30-60 days, with TMI (2018 Est) of $85.82/square-foot.

Nearby is the brand new Four Seasons Hotel (163 rooms alongside 18 “exclusive private residences,” 3 restaurants, 6,000-square-foot ballroom) and the re-development of the Ogilvy department store which includes a new Holt Renfrew (250,000-square-feet and includes iconic high fashion brands such as Chanel, Fendi, Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Tiffany & Co). The location will also include a new beauty hall of 23,000-square-feet, women’s footwear department of 8,000-square-feet, and leather goods shop of 20,000-square-feet.

St Catherine Street is about to witness a game-changing retail facelift with this iconic destination and an immense surge in the numbers of visitors and shoppers in Montreal drawn to this specific location.

Current figures for the area include a population of 36,417 persons with a daytime population of 144,825 persons, 7M+ trade area metro traffic, 30,751 trade area vehicle traffic, an impressive 100 transit score, and 99 walk score.

To be in the centre of this thriving market, contact Caroline Bouillet of JLL ( and Corey Bessner of CORE (

202 Queen St. W., Photo: Joseph Gatto

202 Queen St. W., Photo: Joseph Gatto

Revlon to Host Weekend Pop-Up in Toronto: Another pop-up is happening at Toronto’s 202 Queen Street West, and this time beauty brand Revlon will be showcasing its wares over the weekend (Friday, July 13 4:00pm-8:00pm and Saturday, July 14, 12:00pm-6:00pm). Best of all, admission is free. 

Revlon will showcase its latest product launches that will include entertaining activations and beauty tips from skilled beauty experts. Pop-up facilitator thisopenspace brokered the deal for the 202 Queen Street West activation. 

Photo: Jillian Schecher

Photo: Jillian Schecher

Mother Daughter Duo Pamela and Jenna Do Design Right at Oliver Exchange: On July 6th, Edmonton mother-daughter business duo Pamela Freeman and Jenna Pryor celebrated the reopening of their home decor and design boutique, Plum Home + Design. It will be the first business to open inside the redeveloped Oliver Exchange building in the Oliver neighbourhood, and they will soon be joined on the main floor by Culina to Go, Brio Bakery, Odd Company Brewing, and Iconoclast Coffee Roasters.

The new location is more than double the size of Plum’s previous home on 124th Street, with nearly 2,000-square-feet of independent retail featuring home decor, furniture, baby clothing, fine jewellery, and more.

In designing both their retail space and upstairs design offices, Jenna and Pamela have preserved some of the heritage details of the building—originally built in 1913—by incorporating original windows, doors, and hardware salvaged from the historic building.

Ivan Beljan of Beljan Development has carefully brought together independent Edmonton businesses to ensure there will be community feeling within the Oliver Exchange Building.

Photo: ECCO

Photo: ECCO

ECCO Canada Defies the Death Knell of Retail Doomsday Prediction: Contrary to what you may be reading in the mainstream media, Canadian bricks and mortar retail is not on its deathbed! ECCO Canada is going strong in 2018 with the opening of its 35th Canadian location in the lower level of CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver.

This is the fifth ECCO Canada boutique to open in 2018 and one of the smallest at 842-square-feet, but it is the biggest in on-trend ‘hygge’ warmth, highly curated product offerings, and a design ethos which embraces simplicity, functionality, and elegance.

Fun Fact: ECCO owns and manages every aspect of the value chain from tanneries and shoe manufacturing to wholesale and retail activities. ECCO’s products are sold in 88 countries from over 2,000 ECCO shops and more than 14,000 sales points. ECCO is family-owned, founded in Denmark in 1963, and employs more than 20,000 people worldwide.


BC Hydro Electrifying BC, One Phase at a Time: BC Hydro has announced that it has completed the second phase of its electric vehicle fast-charging network, allowing drivers to travel across BC from the Alberta border to Tofino – and the next phase will connect drivers north. Which is fantastic news to the 9,000+ electric vehicle drivers currently occupying the roads in BC.

The second phase rolls out just in time for drivers to fully enjoy the summer in BC with 28 new stations, in addition to the 30 that were completed in 2016. There are 13 new stations in the Lower Mainland and two new stations at the Britton Creek rest area on the Coquihalla Highway, allowing drivers to quickly charge up before heading to the Southern Interior – or to the Kootenays. The stations also connect drivers from Horseshoe Bay to the west coast of Vancouver Island.

BC Hydro's fast-charging network can charge an electric vehicle's battery to 80 per cent in 30 minutes or less. The network is designed to provide drivers with charging options when they need them – helping reduce the 'range anxiety' many drivers feel about long road trips.

BC Hydro is planning its next phase, which will connect drivers to the north from Kamloops to Prince George – and eventually to Prince Rupert.

Hudson's BAy concession design. rendering via

Hudson's BAy concession design. rendering via

256 Jobs Lost in Canada as Calverton Brands, parent company of Jacques Vert Folds: British womenswear maker Calvetron Brands, which is behind labels such as Précis, Eastex and Jacques Vert, is shutting its operations after filing for bankruptcy protection last May. The company failed to find a buyer, according to administrators Duff & Phelps.

As a result, about 256 jobs in Canada will be lost — Calverton operates concessions in Canada, including multiple Jacques Vert boutiques at Hudson’s Bay stores nationwide. Hudson’s Bay also carries the Précis Petit and Eastex lines of womenswear. 

Employees have been told that their employment will end by September of this year. In all, about 1,400 jobs will be lost in the UK, Ireland, and Canada. 

Helen Siwak is the publisher of Magazine, a freelance content creator specializing in retail and luxury lifestyle. She is a regular content contributor to Boulevard Vancouver (English & Chinese), Retail-InsiderBLUSH Vancouver, and has lifestyle blogged for StyleDemocracy and Daily Hive. When not writing, she is attending fashion events, traveling, and advocating for animal/human rights.

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