Nov 5, 2012
Round Table: Surge of Global Retailers in B.C.

The surge of global retailers opening their doors in B.C. has the tongues of shopaholics wagging, but consumer demand isn't the only factor at play in their arrival. From U.K.-based TopShop to American homewares giant West Elm, these chains are here to capitalize on what they see as Canada's roaring yet accommodating economy and their presence is a call to action for independent retailers.

Oct 20, 2012
Big-Box Stores Face Possible Death
Tony Wanless

The big-box store almost killed the local, main-street retailer, and now online retailers are threatening to do the same to the big-box store. Are jumbo stores the next victim of retail evolution? About four years ago I wrote about how big-box store Canadian Tire was shutting down the e-commerce function of its website because people were using it to research items and then buy them in a physical store. My, how things have changed.

Aug 22, 2012
Shoppers Head South for Upped Duty-Free Limits
L Peacock

As expected, the laxer restrictions on what Canadians can bring back from the U.S. has sent back-to-school shoppers across the border in search of bargains. Retailers may have seen it coming from miles away, but it’s still hitting their bottom lines hard.   On June 1, a new set of upped duty-free limits took effect and the increase in cross-border shopping is palpable.  

Aug 15, 2012
Lululemon Sues Calvin Klein
L Peacock

Vancouver’s own yogawear maker is marking its niche territory with a patent lawsuit against one of America’s biggest designers. Vancouver’s Lululemon doesn’t seem to be as Zen as its marketing campaigns would have us believe.   The yogawear manufacturer is aggressively marking its territory in the niche activewear market in court. Earlier this week, the company filed a lawsuit against well-known American design house Calvin Klein for three patent infringements.  

Aug 6, 2012
The Changing Face of Robson Street Retail
John Armstrong

A changing of the guard on Vancouver’s Rodeo Drive. In late spring, the number of storefront vacancies on Robson Street had people talking. The obvious explanation would seem to be simple math: in the wake of the global economic meltdown, the high overhead on Vancouver’s counterpart to Rodeo Drive, coupled with diminished retail spending, added up to a death knell. Not so fast. Tenants past and present and seasoned real estate observers say the street is simply going through a transition, as...

Jul 31, 2012
Lowe's Offers $1.8 Billion for Rona
L Peacock

The American rival store remains undaunted after Canada’s largest home-improvement chain rejects its unsolicited takeover bid. Another foreign investor with deep pockets is courting a successful Canadian-grown company. Lowe’s, one of the largest home retail chains in the U.S., put up an impressive $1.76 billion for Canadian rival Rona, which it swiftly rejected on the grounds that it wouldn’t be the best move for its shareholders.

Jun 4, 2012
Navigating B.C.'s Ale Trail
Joe Wiebe

The unmistakable drone and wail of a bagpipe erupts, masking the perpetual industrial hum from the Catalyst paper mill that is background noise for residents of Powell River’s historic Townsite neighbourhood. The piper, a woman in Celtic garb, begins a...

May 25, 2012
Budget-Conscious Consumers Boost Coffee Prices
L Peacock

Tastes are regressing back to the plain old cup of joe rather than splurging on more expensive varieties. In a global economy that really needs a jolt, jittery consumers are changing their tastes to favour a cheaper cup of joe.  

May 17, 2012
Cross-Border Shopping Costs Canada $20 Billion
L Peacock

A new report indicates the proliferation of Canadians heading south for shopping sprees is hurting the economy more than previously believed. While many Vancouverites may head across the border this long weekend on the hunt for  some deals, those shopping sprees in the States are draining the Canadian economy.   A new report from the Bank of Montreal shows cross-border shopping is on the increase and will only intensify over the summer as the feds boost the previously restrictive duty-free limits.  ...

May 7, 2012
Saying Goodbye to Sears
Steve Burgess

One way or another, downtown Vancouver’s esthetically challenged Sears edifice is sure to blow. Novelty tissue dispenser. Giant prop for movies about dystopian futures plagued by hideous architecture. Build a second one and hang a “Women’s” sign on it.

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