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‘Tragic loss’: Beloved Burnaby kitchen shop shut down after decades in mall

Lougheed Town Centre loses a retailer
ming wo pic
Ming Wo has left Burnaby.

Some Burnaby shoppers say they are “reeling” after discovering that their favourite kitchen shop has been shut down forever.

Ming Wo has closed down its store in Burnaby that sat next to London Drugs in Lougheed Town Centre for several decades. A short note is now posted to the window thanking customers for all of their support.

“For me, it’s a tragic loss,” said Sadie, a longtime customer who contacted the NOW. “They didn’t just sell gadgets. They sold a lot of items that made my Asian cooking better. These kinds of items you can’t find in many stores and I was loyal to them. And their staff members were wonderful – always so helpful. If they didn’t have something in stock, they would call me when it arrived. Not many shops have that kind of customer service. I guess I’ll have to go to one of their Vancouver stores now, but that’s pretty inconvenient.”

Ming Wo shut down its Chinatown location in 2020 after more than 100 years, but still operates other stores in Vancouver, including on Fourth Avenue in Kitsilano.

“I always stop in at Ming Wo when I’m at the mall,” said Tracy, a Ming Wo customer who spoke to the NOW in front of the empty storefront after just discovering its closure. “I’m kind of reeling about this. We’re losing so many of these small, independent shops that give such good customer service compared to the big boxes.”

COVID-19 has produced a roller coaster for Burnaby malls, with multiple stores shutting down and leaving empty storefronts. Stores lost range from big companies like Microsoft to smaller retailers like Frank & Oak.