Swimco latest Canadian company closing, as malls adjust to new retail landscape
Calgary-based retailer Swimco announced its closing its doors Monday, after 45 years. It had 19 stores across Canada
CALGARY -- Calgary-based company Swimco is closing its door after 45 years and the announcement by the family-owned swimwear retailer marks the latest Canadian company to fall victim during the pandemic.
Swimco operated a total of 19 stores; eight in British Columbia, seven in Alberta, two in Manitoba, and one each in Saskatchewan and Ontario. Prior to the pandemic-related closures in March, Swimco had 25 locations, according to a court filing. Its online store will remain open, but all sales are final and no returns or gift cards will be accepted.
“Swimco is an iconic, iconic Calgary brand and we’re very sad to see them go,” said Paige O’Neill General Manager of CF Chinook Centre which had a Swimco store.
It’s not the only mall tenant facing difficult decisions.
The Montreal-based company behind clothing retailers Garage and Dynamite also filed for creditor protection in September and said it was filing for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the U.S. The company indicated it would close some 300 North American stores, but did not specify how many.
DavidsTea announced in July that it would only reopen 18 of its stores, shuttering 166 Canadian locations and all of its 42 U.S. stores to focus on online sales and supplying grocery stores and pharmacies. The Montreal-based beverage retailer filed for creditor protection saying the COVID-19 pandemic worsened an already challenging retail market.
“This is definitely hard times for our clients and I know the bigger companies look strategically to where they are most successful.”
David’s Tea decided to keep a store in CF Chinook Centre.
The general manager of the shopping centre said a lot of work is being done behind the scenes to try to keep stores open.
“The landlords are working closely with our retail clients and the government is working closely and everyone through creative ways to keep everyone successful.”
Cadillac Fairview, the managing company of Chinook Centre, Market Mall, and more than a dozen shopping centres across the country, is also getting creative in the way it caters to shoppers.
It launched a video campaign showcasing employees and reaffirming its commitment to safety ahead of the holiday season.
Free masks, extended hours to allow more distancing and security patrols at peak times are a few of the measures in place at the malls.
Some stores at CF Chinook Centre are also offering booked time slots to maintain crowd control and provide a more intimate shopping experience.
Shoppers will also find new stores in CF Chinook Centre including Dyson, The Alley, Clearly Contacts, Mooseknuckles, Arc’teryx and some temporary clients through the Christmas season.
“It’s great to see that there’s new business coming to Calgary, even during this time.”