Category Archives: Mall Updates

Park Royal’s $150 Million Retail Expansion

Park Royal-08

So it has begun. Part of Park Royal‘s $150 million expansion and renovation was officially unveiled this past Saturday, November 30th, 2013. The expansion project includes 300,000 square feet of new retail space, some of which shoppers can experience as part of Park Royal South.

Style by Fire was there on the grand opening day, observing festivities such as opening remarks by the Mayor of West Vancouver, a speech by Rick Amantea, Park Royal’s VP of Community Partnerships & Development, and blessing ceremonies by Squamish Nation representatives as Park Royal sits on Native land. Two art pieces were unveiled during the ceremony, one of which is pictured above.

Stores opened in time for the launch included Ann Taylor’s LOFT, Sephora, Anthropologie, LUSH Cosmetics, J.Crew and Zara.


LOFT Park Royal Storefront 1

Photo via Edelman

According to Retail Insider, LOFT opened its first Vancouver-area store on November 15th. The younger sister line to Ann Taylor, LOFT opened its first store in Yorkdale in 2012. This one in Park Royal marks its 6th in a year’s time. We can see rapid expansion from this brand, which I’m sure has been very well received.

When we checked out the store, I was surprised to find the price points in a fantastic price range. Many items were under $100.

Sarah Bancroft, editor of Vitamin Daily, hosted the store opening. She had a rack of Editor’s Picks, which included the versatile black she’s seen wearing.


Anthropologie opened its 2nd location at Park Royal, the first being on South Granville. In other cities I’ve traveled to, I’ve always noticed there was an Anthropologie in the main downtown core. In Vancouver, it’s not quite the case. Both South Granville and West Vancouver are considered more destination shopping areas, as in most of the folks in Vancouver must make a special trip out there. I’m not certain whether this is simply a case of availability and timing in terms of real estate. But with the higher price points, a slower introduction to higher-traffic shopping areas, and building a solid fan base in premium markets might be a good bet.

As always, Anthropologie has unbeatable merchandising. We saw some of the nicest styled dining tables there! Shoppers here, however, do pay a premium for the extravagant decor. Picking up a simple printed greeting card, I thought might be something around $5; turned out to be $8. Just because I’m a budget shopper doesn’t mean everyone else is. On Park Royal’s opening day there was no shortage of shoppers flying through Anthropologie’s doors.


The 3rd J. Crew at Park Royal follows Vancouver’s first on Robson Street, and the second in Pacific Centre. A move to reach non-downtown residents makes total sense for this brand. Although I’m sure a huge portion of their fans are corporate workers, the relaxed casual styles the brand offers definitely fits the West Van demographic.

One shopping conundrum I always have is with winter coats. If it looks pretty, it’s not warm. Or vice versa. This orange jacket I tried on is seriously one of the best I’ve tried on in the past few years! It’s your standard double-breasted coat that comes in an intersting orange colour.

It’s no surprise when I looked at the tag inside, it read “Stadium Cloth by Nello Gori.” According to the J.Crew website, their stadium cloth is exclusively made by the famed Italian Nello Gori factory inspired by fabric used in old-school stadium blankets. It’s “a compact, high-density wool that adds tremendous warmth without the bulk.”

Warmth and style. I like.

Zara Man

Impressive army-like mannequins greet incoming customers

Impressive army-like mannequins greet incoming customers

This is one of the largest Zara locations in Vancouver, with the men’s section taking up as much real estate as the women’s. We walked in through Zara Man, and were greeted by an army of 6 mannequins. The rest of the store was equally impressive. For me, it was the first time seeing such a grand display of men’s clothing in compartments. Shoppers would go through various sections of the store, as if it were different closets to choose from.

Store design wise, I also loved the huge TV screen above the cash desk. What better way to keep a man entertained during the act of shopping. Although the stylish men who come through the store are likely more than willing to be there. Also loved the accessories section where scarves, bow ties, hats, and fragrances were neatly displayed in a much more organized and high-end manner. If you check out the Zara at Park Royal, I recommend going in through the men’s side first.

Zara Woman

Photos by Aurora Chan and Miranda Sam (unless otherwise noted)

Words by Miranda Sam

Leave a comment

Filed under Mall Updates, New Store Openings, Retail News

Joe’s Jeans to Open at Oakridge November 2013

Joe's jeans Oakridge-2

I stopped by Oakrdige Centre, and noticed that Joe’s Jeans will be arriving at the mall soon. Personally I don’t have that much experience with the brand, as there aren’t many places in the city that carry it. The only pair of Joe’s I have is a pair of knee-length crops I picked up from Nordstrom Rack. Hopefully Vancouverites will get to know the brand better through the first Canadian Joe’s Jeans location.

Joe's jeans Oakridge-1

Leave a comment

Filed under Mall Updates, New Store Openings, Retail News

We All Shopped ‘Til We Dropped with LOULOU Magazine at Metropolis!

The Metropolis atrium: Where the action was

The Metropolis atrium: Where the action was

Please note: This article was first posted on Metropolis at Metrotown’s blog. Thanks Metropolis for inviting me to the fabulous event. Check it out!

On Thursday, September 26th, LOULOU Shop ‘Til You Drop took place at Metropolis at Metrotown, and it was one of the mall’s biggest events ever! Over 70 retailers participated in this one-night-only shopping event, including Forever 21, H&M, Nike, Skoah, Bench, Geox, and more. According to a Metropolis marketing associate, there were approximately 700 guests in line for a swag bag before the event began!

Inside the main atrium court, there was a plethora of fun activities and free stuff, I had overheard many guests say that the lineup was long, but it was well worth the wait. Shoppers got the chance to sample lots of treats, check out different sweets at a candy bar, and pick up copies of LOULOU Magazine.

Miranda with loulou Magazine editor, Claude Laframboise

Miranda with LOULOU Magazine editor, Claude Laframboise

When I spoke with LOULOU Style Editor, Claude Laframboise, he said he’s done many events around Canada, but this one at Metropolis was the biggest one yet. He loved how energetic the shoppers were, and was genuinely impressed by the event.

The LOULOU Magazine closet

The LOULOU Magazine closet

Guests had the opportunity to check out the curated LOULOU closet. Many participated in the contest by taking a photo of themselves with their favourite item in the closet and Tweet it. Presentations by Claude Lafraomboise took place twice that evening, with guests attentively learning how they can create a fall wardrobe and best shop the event.

Kid Carson handing out Skinny Cow ice cream bars to guests

Kid Carson handing out Skinny Cow ice cream bars to guests

Kid Carson and SONiC Nation also broadcasted live on location. Between broadcasting duties, Kid Carson also helped hand out Skinny Cow ice cream bars to fans. What a great sport!

Sofia bought a sweater at Dynamite for 20% off!

Sofia bought a sweater at Dynamite for 20% off!

I met the lovely Sofia who happily showed me her latest purchase: a Dynamite knit cardigan that retailed at $44.90 with a 20% Shop ‘Til You Drop discount. She loved how it was so comfy and perfect for fall.

loulou editor's picks: fall boots!

LOULOU Editor’s Picks at Guess: fall boots!

At each Shop ‘Til You Drop participating retailer, there were tags on items indicating LOULOU Magazine’s Editor’s Picks. Some of my favourite Editor’s Picks at Guess? were these awesome black boots. And of course you can’t just have one! You need a pair of flat boots for everyday wear, and a lace-up pair with a heel for the weekend.

Shoppers Kama and Sima enjoyed the free swag

Shoppers Kama and Sima enjoyed the free swag

On my way to the other side of the mall, I met shoppers Kama and Sima. They loved the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and were looking forward to open their gift with purchase.

Editor's Picks at Thomas Sabo

Editor’s Picks at Thomas Sabo

There was so much to be coveted at Thomas Sabo! This display of cute bow-tie accessories was my absolute favourite. Which girly girl wouldn’t love a pair of bow-tie earrings?!

Fashion bloggers Jordana and Sheila pick up some fall must-haves at oak + fort for 20% off

Fashion bloggers pick up some fall must-haves at Oak + Fort for 20% off

At Oak + Fort, I met fashion bloggers from and Apparently we had been Twitter friends for the longest time, so it was nice to finally meet them in person! Jordana said she loved her cozy, new Oak + Fort sweater, and Sheila said she was really enjoying the event at Metropolis.

At the end of the night, after shoppers had gone around the mall with their official Shop ‘Til You Drop passport, and had collected at least 8 stamps from retailers, they entered their ballot in for a draw. Good luck to everyone who participated! The grand prize was a $1000 Metropolis at Metrotown gift card, and other prizes included $100 gift cards to Garage, GUESS?, Forever 21, SoftMoc, H&M and more.

As for myself, I did a little shopping myself. I couldn’t resist a pair of skinny pants from Jacob at 25% off, a pair of winter running tights from lululemon, and a sweater dress from Forever21.

What a great event – I can’t wait to Shop ‘Til I Drop next year!


Filed under Events, Events & Sales, Mall Updates, Retail News, Sales, STYLE SEEN

Style Seen: Privilege Clothing Grand Opening

On Friday, September 6th, Privilege Clothing threw a grand opening party for their opened at 3rd location at Guildford Town Centre. And it was a success – with 6 winners taking home over $3000 worth in prizes!

Privilege is a store that carries premium labels such as 7 For All Mankind, BCBGeneration, and Free people to suburban markets. Owner Donni Rae’s idea behind her suburban strategy is to offer non-generic styles to suburbanites without the added cost of gas and time traveled downtown.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events & Sales, Mall Updates, New Store Openings, Retail News, STYLE SEEN



I am super excited to announce to you guys the 2013 edition of LOULOU x Metropolis SHOP TIL YOU DROP event! I’ll also shamelessly throw in the plug that I’ll be covering the event on behalf of Metropolis too. So be sure to check out the Metropolis blog the Monday after the event! So y’all want to know what’s going down on the big day? Well, there are almost too many retailers and events to list, but that’s a good thing, right?


  • DATE | Thursday, September 26, 2013
  • TIME: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
  • LOCATION: Metropolis at Metrotown (4700 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC)

Event Highlights:
– 1000 swag bags distributed (first 250 deluxe swag bags with additional products/samples).
– One night only discounts, gifts with purchase, in-store actitivies and much more!
– Shop ‘Til You Drop Lounge in Grand Court with sampling, candy bar and entertainment.
– Get your passport stamped for a chance to win a $1,000 Metropolis at Metrotown shopping spree!
– Two LOULOU presentations of Fall trends by Senior Editor at Grand Court.
– Spin-and-Win prize wheels.
– SONiC FM broadcasting live from the event.

New This Year
– Shop the ultimate LOULOU closet in Grand Court!
– Visit the LOULOU runway featuring Fall looks from Metropolis retailers.
– Crack the code at the LOULOU safes on display at all passport locations for a chance to win!
– Shop and Do Good – bring in last season’s outfits to donate to Burnaby Hospice Society and Thrift Store

*Participating Retailers

(I’ve highlighted a few I’m definitely checking out. Maybe I’ll see you guys there?)

  • Arctic Canadian Diamond: 50% off everything! One night only!
  • Bench: Spend $75 & get $10 off, Spend $125 & get $25 off, Spend $200 & get $50 off.
  • Best Buy Mobile: $50 bill credit for any Rogers or Fido activations. In-store demos of Samsung S4 & Blackberry Z10/Q10
  • Body Jewlz: 10% off all body jewellery and piercings! $60 tattoos from select designs.
  • Buffalo: Get 20% off regular priced merchandise + spend $125 after rebate and get a free Buffalo tumbler + in-store entertainment!
  • Carlton Cards: Buy one get one 50% off all gifting. 50% off all wrap items.
  • Change: 40% off everything!
  • Claire’s: 20% off everything!
  • Crystique: 30% off select items and a free scented candle with any purchase over $100.
  • Culture Craze: $20.00 off any purchase of $50 or more!
  • Dessert Dynasty: Buy one and get a 2nd drink of equal or lesser value free.
  • Dynamite: 20% off + FREE swag bag with purchase of $50+
  • Eccotique Salon: 20% off retail and mini hair styling.
  • Eccotique Spa East: 20% off retail, in-store contest (a chance to win an *Eccotique gift basket and a $50 gift card). Mini manicures, mini neck/shoulder massages and mini make-up applications!
  • Eccotique Spa West: 20% off retail, in-store contest (a chance to win an *Eccotique gift basket and a $50 gift card). Mini manicures, mini neck/shoulder massages and mini make-up applications!
  • Eyestar Optical: 30% off eyeglasses (both lens & frame) and sunglasses. 40% off all Rayban eyewear. Some restrictions may apply.
  • Fame Diamond: 50% off everything! One night only!
  • Forever 21: Discounts on Fall “must-haves” and FREE earbuds with $50+ purchase
  • Gallery of Perfumes: 20% off on purchases of $50 or more.
  • Garage: 20% off + FREE tote with purchase of $50+
  • Geox: 20% off regular priced merchandise
  • Godiva Chocolatier: Enter for a chance to win a $100 gift basket + in-store sampling!
  • Guess: Enjoy sweet treats and DJ beats. Receive a gift with any purchase of $100+ and a mystery scratcher for a chance to win
  • Guess Accessories: Scratch to reveal your special offer + receive a gift with purchase of $100+
  • H&M: 15% off purchase of $50+
  • Hudson’s Bay: Gift with purchase, a fashion show, make-up and wardrobe consultations and mini make-up demos.
  • Icing by Claire’s: 20% off everything!
  • Jacob: 25% off regular priced merchandise.
  • J2:10% off all regular-priced merchandise, additional 20% off all sale items + gift with purchase!
  • J76: 50% off 2nd item (sale items & accessories excluded).
  • Kidoodles:10% of any purchase over $50, 20% of any purchase over $100. Drop-off session: $25 per child for 2 hours of arts and crafts, ages 3-12 (valid only for Sep 26th between 4:30 & 8:30pm)
  • Kiehl’s Since 1851: In-store consultations and receive a skin essential kit depending on skin type.
  • Le Chateau (both locations): 15% off your purchase (cannot be combined with any other offer).
  • L’Occitane: Future Metropolis retailer L’Occitane will be providing mini facials in Grand Court.
  • Lucky Brand: 20% in-store discount, raffle prizes ($50 gift card + free denim), vintage soda and cake pops as refreshments!
  • Lugaro: Special discounts ($49 pearl necklace & Earring Set / $88 Men’s Tungsten Wedding bands. One-night only Facebook contest- see in store for details.
  • Luxury Eyewear: 30% off sunglasses and/or a complete pair of eyeglasses and a chance to win a $50 gift with each purchase. Restrictions may apply.
  • Magnolia Silver Jewellery: Gift with purchase – free silver and pearl necklace (retail value $58) with every purchase over $69
  • Marciano Enjoy mini make-overs, sips, sweets and more. M Loyalty Members receive a gift withy any purchase of $125.
  • Men’s Club: Up to 40% off new arrivals. See in store for details.
  • Mimi McQueen: Make any regular priced purchase over $20 (before tax) and receive a free body tape ($12.50 value). Make any regular priced purchase over $75 (before tax) and receive a free silicone bra ($29.99 value).
  • Miss Sixty/Energie: In-store contests, special treats, and 25% off your purchase.
  • Naturalizer: 20% off all regular and sale merchandise (cannot be combined with any coupons).
  • Nike: 15% off regular and an additional 10% off sale prices, some exceptions will apply.
  • Oak + Fort: 20% off the entire store.
  • Orange Julius/Dairy Queen (both locations): Sampling in Grand Court + a chance to win smoothies for a year.
  • Plenty: 20% off your purchase!
  • Purdy’s Chocolates: Spend $20 and receive $5 off your purchase.
  • Qoola: 25% off all products from 5-9pm.
  • Quartz & Chronos: Enter for a chance to win a Citizen watch in-store!
  •  Quilts Etc.: Extra 20% off on select designed linens, quilt set promo $20, poly duvet promo $29.
  • Reid Jewellery: Receive a pair of Swarovski crystal earrings with any purchase of $100 or more. One per person, retail value of $75
  • RW & Co: 20% OFF a minimum $85 purchase (before taxes) on all regular priced items, excluding prices ending in $0.95).
  • Ripcurl: 25% off all bikinis and board shorts.
  • Saje: Visit Grand Court for sampling and a 25%-off coupon.
  •  Sirens: Buy one get the 2nd item of equal or lesser value at 50% off. Entire store on sale!
  • Smart Set: Double your savings on Smart Set’s Savings Pass promotion
  • Sneakerbox: 10% off all regular-priced merchandise, additional 20% off all sale items + gift with purchase!
  • Soft Moc: 20% off all regular priced items and 10% off all sale items!
  • Superstore: Stop by Grand Court for some sweet treats at our Candy Bar compliments of Superstore.
  • Suzy Shier: 25% off all regular priced merchandise.
  • THOMAS SABO: $25 gift card for every $100 spent on jewellery, watches and fragrances.
  • Tommy Hilfiger: 25% off full priced items
  • Urban Behavior: Buy one get the 2nd item of equal or lesser value at 50% off. Entire store on sale!
  • Urban Planet: Buy one item and get 50% off any second item in the entire store!
  • Watch It: Enter for a chance to win a Citizen watch in-store!
  • Zennkai: 15% off all retail. In-store demos and mini applications with hot tool styling/ braids. Prizes, snacks and treats in-store!

*all promotions subject to change, some restrictions may apply, and while quantities last. See in store for details.


Filed under Events & Sales, Mall Updates, Sales

Q&A with Lisa Roy, Designer for 13 New Guildford Stores

spacelift by lisa royIn this very special post, we speak with Lisa Roy of Spacelift, who designed the window displays for 13 stores at the newly expanded Guildford Town Centre. Lisa has a wealth of experience in retail design (past projects include Chanel, Oakridge, Metropolis) and currently also does home staging for “the spatially challenged.” We’re so excited to bring you this Q&A with a local retail design expert!

  1. How did you get into store design? I started right out of high school as a full time junior display tech with Tip Top.  Their windows back then were like small stages.  We were flown into Toronto 4-5 times a year to work together as a team, led by an extremely talented creative director.  I learned so much in my 5 years with them.  I then decided to start a freelance business and have never looked back.  I have been able to continue growing my business to include hundreds of clients and can honestly say I have enjoyed almost every one of my projects.
  2. Which are the 13 stores that you worked on? The British Look, MVVZ, Affluence, Privilege, Funk & Frost, Brow Art, Forever Flawless, EB Games, Go Games, Beach Basket Gifts, The Cannery, KRC Perfume, Lazy One.

    Funk n Frost at Guildford

    Funk n Frost at Guildford

  3. Do you design the stores with the retailer in mind? I originally met with each of the retailers to better understand their target customer.  Once this was determined and we were able to see the store front design they were assigned by the mall, a preliminary concept for the front window displays was formed.  Each window display was designed specifically for that store, including the style of mannequin, signage and propping.
  4. What’s it like designing for so many different retailers? How do you come up with a range of designs that suit each retailers’ brand? 25 years of experience makes it a lot easier.  Once we had the budget to work within, coming up with ideas is fun.  It is really important to make sure that the displays reflect the retailer and their target market, so understanding that is important. The great thing about a project like this is that there were so many unique retailers, so it wasn’t hard to come up with different ideas for all of them.
  5. What are some interesting design elements for these Guildford stores that you’ve used? For the props, we had some fun with sourcing interesting pieces.  Just about everything is a potential prop.  Funk & Frost windows have actual carousel horses in the windows, painted to match their store colours, fun for a cosmetic store.  We have some old tires collected from the tire recycling for EB Games as they were promoting Grand Theft Auto in the windows.
  6. What’s your favourite part of the window design process? Coming up with the initial concept is always fun and the most creative part of the process.  But I think it is the very end for me, window completed and seeing the reaction from the store staff.  It’s very satisfying to see the original idea come to life.
  7. What are your thoughts on Guildford’s new expansion? What are your thoughts on all the other malls’ previous or planned expansions (ie Oakridge, Richmond, Park Royal) The new expansion is beautiful!  Guilford really stepped up and customers won’t be disappointed.  The mall needed a lift, retail is so competitive and expectations are high.  It is so much about the experience with today’s shoppers.  They want to be “entertained” in every way, from the stores to the food court and even the bathrooms.  Park Royal will be amazing when it’s done, a very much needed reno for sure.  Richmond has a great new food court that is quite impressive.
  8. How do you like retail design compared to home staging? I love them both.  The concept is the same, show something at its best so it sells.  After taking interior design at BCIT for a year, I decided there were aspects of interior design that didn’t appeal to me.  The parts that did were the space planning and working with furnishings and accessories.  Home staging takes the part that I enjoy about interior design and combines it with the retail display and merchandising background which lets me love going to work every day.

Thanks for answering our questions, Lisa! We especially loved the theatrical designs at Funk&Frost.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mall Updates, Retail News

Guildford Town Centre’s Grand Opening Day

Guildford Opening Day-1

Was it worth the drive to Whalley? It sure was.  But from what I remember about Guildford the one time I drove all the way out there when Off the Wall was still popular was that it if it weren’t for one item I had on hold, I wouldn’t have spent the time.

After a $280m investment by Ivanhoe Cambridge, the new side of the mall does not remind you at all that you’re in Surrey. Retailers like Aritzia, Forever 21, H&M, RW&Co, Bootlegger, Browns, Town Shoes, Saje Natural Wellness, the Lego store and more bring their A game. You see glossy storefronts with well thought out merchandising displays. At times when I wandered from store to store, I quite honestly forgot about the product because I was so in awe with the theatrics of the boutiques.

According to one of the retailers, when the mall first opened in the morning they literally had to step back inside their store because the masses were racing down to Forever 21. On the east side of the mall, there was constantly a long lineup to what I only assume to be to enter your name into the $1000/week at Guildford for a year contest. With all this activity, I don’t doubt it was madness at Guildford today! When shoppers needed to take a break, the washrooms had a nice touch of scented moisturizers and mists from Saje Natural Wellness.

Though I really wanted that Sephora tote bag, I decided that what looked like a 30 minute minimum lineup was not worth the wait. Instead, I checked out The British Look, one of the few local retailers (well, local is debatable since they are British!). More to come in an upcoming post about the brand new store.

I’m not sure what the plans are for the older half of Guildford, but with the way Ivanhoe Cambridge is working on Oakridge and Metrotown, I’m sure they will be doing everything they can to bring that Metrotown shopper back to Surrey.

1 Comment

Filed under Mall Updates, New Store Openings, Retail News

Forever 21 to Open at Guildford Centre

Forever 21 Opening at Guildford

According to 604 Now, in addition to a Forever 21, Guildford Town Centre will be undergoing a $280 million expansion. This will bring in 75 new stores and other fashion retailers like H&M, Sephora, Brown’s and Blue Ruby. I’ve never been to Guildford in my life, but this is one good definitely reason.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mall Updates, Retail News

Mall Update: Richmond Centre

I haven’t been to Richmond Centre for a really long time now, and even though the mall has changed quite a bit, it still brings back sweet memories of sidewalk sale shopping with my mom. So this may or may not be news to y’all, but here’s what I’ve got:

Coach to Open at Richmond Centre

Coach to Open at Richmond Centre

So this makes Coach accessible in pretty much every major shopping hub in Vancouver: Burrard St, Pacific Centre, Metropolis at Metrotown, Oakrdige Centre, and now Richmond Centre.

Michael Hill & EXPRESS Hosted a fashion show

I wouldn’t have necessarily paired these two retailers for a show, but given the stores’ close proximity to one another in the mall, it makes some sense. Michael Hill jewelry and Express Clothing hosted a fashion show on June 29th at 10am.

Jacob Moves to a New Location

I like the look of the new Jacob boutiques much better than the dated wooden look of the nineties. Jacob has moved across the other side of the “street” on June 28, 2013.

The New Dining Terrace

Absolutely love this new dining terrace. At $30 million and 44,000 square feet, it’s set to go head-to-head with the best in the world. I remember being in the then-new Santa Monica Place mall and thinking “why can’t Vancouver have an awesome food court like this?” And now we’ve arrived.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Mall Updates, Retail News

Pacific Centre Update

Blue Ruby

Lovely new Blue Ruby store front! I’d mentioned the update in this last post.

Former Bench Location

Bench has been out since January. I thought this brand would have had more longevity in downtown Vancouver.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mall Updates, Retail News