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Iconic fashion store closing at Burnaby's biggest mall as Brentwood expands

Boys' Co to close forever at Metropolis at Metrotown
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Boys' Co leaving Metropolis at Metrotown.

Burnaby’s biggest mall is losing another iconic tenant as a men’s fashion store plans to close up shop.

Men's fashion chain Boys' Co. plans to cease operations early in 2022, owner David Goldman told Glacier Media’s Business in Vancouver on June 3.

His three-store, 37-year-old retailer operates stores in Metro Vancouver, at Coquitlam Centre and at Guildford Town Centre, in Surrey – as well as Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby.

It reached its peak of success in the 1990s, when it had six stores, including Vancouver locations on Robson Street, and the initial one, at Oakridge Centre. Other stores at the time were in Richmond, Victoria, Burnaby and Surrey.

Goldman closed his high-profile, 31-year-old store on Robson Street in 2018, in part because its $45,000 per month in rent made it a challenge to turn a profit. He immediately replaced that store with the one in Coquitlam.

"We're gonna go through Christmas," Goldman said. "We might close one store before then, which will leave us two. It's just a function of our landlord working out a replacement tenant. The third of the three stores may remain open for another month, or two, for a final liquidation, if necessary." (You can read more about Goldman’s plans in this story here.)

The closure is another blow to Metropolis at Metrotown, which has seen a long list of retailers close forever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

J&M Coin and Jewellery had been at Metropolis at Metrotown for 35 years, opening up in 1986, but it recently held a closing-out sale.

Other businesses that have closed in the past year at Metropolis include Godiva chocolates, Rocky Mountain Soap Company, David’s Tea, Microsoft, Pink, Freddy Pants and Frank & Oak.

Le Chateau also closed up its Metrotown store after several decades in Burnaby. Le Chateau Inc. had to seek court protection from creditors to allow it to liquidate its assets and close its stores. The Montreal-based company said in 2020 that it has spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic trying to refinance or sell the business to a third party that would keep it in operation, but was unsuccessful.

Apart from store closures, Chef Tony cancelled its plans to build a large restaurant at Metropolis at Metrotown. Instead, it is just sticking with its restaurant in the food court.

There have been, however, some openings at Metropolis.

One of the biggest was Hugo Boss opening its first brick-and-mortar store in Burnaby.

Fashion retailer Forever 21 also decided to return to Metropolis with a new store after closing in Metropolis at Metrotown in 2019 amid a company-wide bankruptcy. The company previously closed all 44 of its Canadian stores and up to 178 locations in the United States while restructuring its global business under bankruptcy protection.

Meanwhile, Metropolis is facing stiff competition from the expanding Amazing Brentwood mall, which is more than 90% leased and loaded with competing stores running from men’s to women’s fashion.

The Amazing Brentwood has three residential towers built, but will eventually have 13 total on the 28-acre property at Lougheed and Willingdon. As part of phase one, 1.45 million square feet of retail space has been completed.

Companies that have opened or are planning to open include H&M, H&M Home, Sporting Life, Suit Supply, L.L. Bean, Urban Outfitters, Jac, Nike, Adidas, Wo-men’s Club and more. The mall will also feature a wide array of restaurants, including La Taqueria, Gram Pancakes, plus 19 more featured in the 780-seat Tables food court.

  • With files from Glen Korstrom, Business in Vancouver