Vancouver will get its first La Maison Simons (“Simons”) store in the fall of 2015 when it opens at West Vancouver’s Park Royal Shopping Centre.
Simons is a Quebec-based specialty fashion retailer and although it has bee around for over 170 years, there is reason for why many Canadians may be unfamiliar with the brand as it currently has just eight stores located in Quebec and at West Edmonton Mall.
The announcement of its first location in British Columbia to attain a portion of the region’s market share comes at a time when there is significant competition in the Canadian retail industry with the expansion and upscaling of Hudson’s Bay, the expansion of Holt Renfrew, and the entry of Nordstrom into the marketplace.
The 100,000 square foot La Maison Simons store at Park Royal is anticipated to open in 2015 and will likely carry a very significant construction budget. Aside from its mix of pricey designer lines and cheap-chic private labels, Simons is also renowned for integrating a stunning architectural experience with the retail experience. The recently opened 118,000 square foot West Edmonton Mall store, which is reportedly far exceeding sales expectations, did not cut corners with its $50 million budget spent largely on interior design.
Park Royal is also undergoing an $150-million improvement and expansion project that will add a further 300,000 square feet in retail space to what is already Metro Vancouver’s second largest shopping centre with its 1.2 million square feet and over 280 retail stores.
The project will not only bring La Maison Simons to the North Shore, but it will also:
- expand the food court and dining experience;
- add an “upscale” grocery store;
- significantly increase the number of indoor retail units;
- expand the outdoor shopping experience at Park Royal Village;
- open a four-level 1,000 stall parkade with a ‘state of the art’ management system;
- bring interior and exterior building upgrades;
- and add green spaces, water features, public art, covered public walkways, and bike lanes.
With the first phase of Park Royal’s new and expanded retail space now nearing completion, North Shore shoppers can expect the Fall 2013 openings of Anthropologie, Aritzia, J.Crew, Loft, Sephora, Zara, and the Glowbal Group’s Trattoria. Future phases will include the construction of condominium towers on the shopping centre’s site.
Park Royal’s ambitious expansion plans are part of its highly strategic move to keep North Shore shoppers in the North Shore and to attract regional shoppers with brands such as Simons that are not found elsewhere. The shopping centre aims to replicate the brands and stores found in downtown Vancouver, Metropolis at Metrotown, and elsewhere that requires a congested and time consuming trip across the Lions Gate Bridge, Second Narrows Ironworkers Memorial Bridge or SeaBus.
It is not currently known whether La Maison Simons will open other locations in the province, however, its first location in Metro Vancouver was long rumoured to be at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre as part of its major expansion and redevelopment. Construction for this project is still several years away.
The arrival of La Maison Simons and the expansion of Park Royal and Oakridge Centre are all part of a long list of new Metro Vancouver shopping experiences that have been proposed, approved, currently under construction or have recently opened:
- Vancouver International Airport Outlet Mall
- Final designs of Nordstrom flagship in Downtown Vancouver revealed
- $280 million Guildford Town Centre redevelopment complete
- Tsawwassen First Nation to build Metrotown-sized shopping centre
- Saks Fifth Avenue in Downtown Vancouver
- $1-billion redevelopment and expansion proposed for Metropolis at Metrotown
- Brentwood Mall redevelopment could see towers as tall as 70 storeys
- Lindsay Ellingson opens the world’s second largest Victoria’s Secret store in Vancouver
Park Royal Redevelopment
Images: Park Royal Redevelopment