Apr 8, 2021
After bagging its first CEO, Herschel Supply plans to go big
Nick Rockel

Herschel Supply Co. looked far and wide for its first-ever CEO, only to find the right person in its backyard. “We hired a New York–based search firm to go scout out the market,” says Lyndon Cormack, co-founder of the Vancouver-headquartered bag maker...

Mar 22, 2021
Q&A: For retailers looking to survive in a post-pandemic world, Doug Stephens offers a wakeup call—and a way forward
Nick Rockel

If you call your consulting company Retail Prophet, you’d better have something useful to say. Doug Stephens doesn’t disappoint with his third book, Resurrecting Retail: The Future of Business in a Post-Pandemic World. The Toronto-based retail futurist, who’s advised players ranging from BMW to Disney to Walmart, argues that the COVID shock has completely changed his industry. We asked Stephens how brands can survive and thrive in this hypercompetitive new landscape—and which B.C. retailers are ahead of the game.

Mar 16, 2021
The Innovators: Shape Immersive brings the 3D shopping experience home
Nathan Caddell

Dan Burgar doesn’t think brick-and-mortar retail will ever disappear. But long before the COVID-19 pandemic furthered’s devastation of traditional business practices, Burgar was arguing that retail would be one of the many sectors disrupted by virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). Having worked at various local tech companies, the Vancouver native...

Mar 10, 2021
Pacific Trader: Is Aritzia the TSX’s best retail reopening play?
Michael McCullough

The stock: Since Aritzia (TSX:ATZ) debuted on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges in 2016, the best time to buy its shares always seemed to be a year ago. If there was an exception, it came, well, a year ago, when...

Dec 15, 2020
Can Vancouver’s outdoor retail row survive MEC’s move off Broadway?
Michael McCullough

Walk into the new MEC flagship store in Vancouver’s Olympic Village and you’ll spot a restored baby-blue Volkswagen microbus, an homage to the retailer’s first venue. Back in 1971, the original van would haul camping and climbing gear acquired at...

Nov 17, 2020
How Tracy Stewart turned surviving breast cancer into a business venture
Nathan Caddell

"Thrift stores are kind of my haven,” says Tracy Stewart. And it makes sense—she found solace in them after going through breast cancer treatment a dozen years ago. There was chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and then post-mastectomy reconstruction. But the implants...

Oct 20, 2020
Supportive apparel company Stoko blazes trail from the basement of UBC to full-fledged business
Nathan Caddell

I last talked to Zack Eberwein two-and-a-half years ago. Not too much has changed for me since then, honestly. For him, it might as well have been a decade. The then-23-year-old was tinkering in the basement of UBC’s Institute for Computing...

Sep 29, 2020
Want to get main streets back up and running? Start with good data
Nick Rockel

From Victoria to St. John’s, COVID-19 has made life difficult for main streets across the country. Cities need to give struggling retail and commercial businesses a helping hand. But to make the right decisions when it comes to economic recovery, Andy Yan says, they also need good data. To that end, Yan helped create the Main Street Data Primer: A Resource for Policymakers, Main Street Stakeholders and Urban Researchers...

Sep 2, 2020
Vancouver’s Deqq Apparel partners with Joe Average to make wearable art that can’t be ripped off
Alyssa Hirose

At a Banff business conference more than a decade ago, a guy walked up to Vancouver tech entrepreneur David Gratton and literally offered to buy the shirt off his back. “It had an embroidered picture of an old airplane that...

Aug 26, 2020
B.C. 2.0.: Retailers try reinventing themselves to survive the COVID-19 pandemic
Frances Bula

Blaine McNamee had already brought the dead back to life once in B.C.’s retail world. Then the pandemic came. McNamee is the guy who took over the empty storefront that had been home to the cherished Wonderbucks on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive—an...

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