Category Archives: Store Closings

New Store Alert: Oak+Fort Relocates to a Larger Location in Gastown


Friday, November 15th marked the first day Oak + Fort moved into their bigger retail space in Gastown at 355 Water St. The new location of this favourite local brand is approximately 4 times larger than their previous space a few blocks down on the same street. And it only took the team exactly one month to put the store together.


I love that the store has a bigger gallery space to display its products, which in their own right, are works of art. The ambience of the white walls acts as a white canvas for the shop; the wooden beams on the wall and industrial touch of the merchandising racks give the store a nod to its Gastown heritage.

Some of my favourite items in the store is the jewelry. Though it won’t last you a lifetime, Oak + Fort is definitely one of the best places to get stylishly subtle jewellery. Earlier this year I got one of my favourite rings there – and I’m seriously not a ring person.


On the left, the Jesidan sweater in beige is priced at $78, and on the right, the Edgar coat in grey with contrast sleeves is at $248. I love that Oak + Fort delivers progressive pieces easily integrated into any wardrobe at such great price points.

I was quite impressed with the fitting rooms; I felt that there were some really good details put into its design. For example, change room mirrors outside of the dressing room never seem to be big enough when there’s another person who’s trying to share the mirror with you. They’ve got this super tall and wide mirror can probably fit at least 4 or 5 people across. When I stood in front of it, I felt that its vastness made a difference because not only can you navel-gaze and see yourself, you can see yourself interact with the surrounding environment.

Another detail I noticed was the width of the opening of the fitting rooms. They are not your usual door width, and because of the narrower space, you feel more secure in the fitting room. The curtain rods extend past the opening so you feel like you can actually close it shut. This was something I failed to do at the previous location, so it was definitely noticeable at the new store. Mix it all together and you have a pretty shopper-friendly space.



What’s in the future for Oak + Fort? This brand quickly grew in popularity among the fashion crowd, and will now be growing to other fashion cities in Canada. Two stores in Toronto are expected to open in Spring 2014 on Queen Street and in the Don Mills neighbourhood.  And if things go as planned, another location will be popping up in Calgary next spring too.


Though I didn’t get much of a chance to shop for myself, I’m sure looking forward to the next time.

Photos + Words by Miranda Sam

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Jennyfleur Loves Farewell Shopping Party

Jennyfleur Closing Party-6

Jennyfleur Loves is a women’s fashion boutique that’s called Yaletown home over the past three years.  Owners Jennifer Gray and Shaughnessey Chow-Domos have decided to bid farewell to Yaletown and look for new digs. In the meantime, customers can still get their shopping fix via their online store.

JL held one last shopping party on October 24th to mark the end of a chapter and the beginning of the next with wine and appetizers, as well as major slashing of prices on most items in the store.  Browsing its intimate interior, it is apparent that JL specializes in unique funky pieces that bring out the rocker in you.  My friend Shay Lhea and I immediately noticed a pair of denim shorts by the UK brand Bitching and Junkfood which was covered in black straps and included a modified garter.  How often does one come across shorts that have their own built-in lingerie-like detailing?

Jennyfleur Closing Party-10

Shay tried on a two-piece dress, also by the same UK brand, which made her look like a slinky million bucks, and what do you know, the print on it consisted of rows of Japanese yen bills.  I bought a silver bustier by Nameless Apparel for a steal deal which will be featured in a future post.

Sorry to see JL leave but looking forward to see it pop up again in a new location!

Photos + Words by Aurora Chan

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Ishara to Close in Gastown on September 20th

Ishara Closing Sale

Sigh! It is with great regret that I bring you this piece of news: Ishara, one of Vancouver’s favourite independent boutiques in Gastown will be closing. I always loved going to Ishara, then hopping over to fellow Canadian retailers Oak + Fort and m0851. And I definitely remember visiting the store’s grand opening at the first location in Oakridge Centre.

I’m sad to see the store go, but I wish the best to Amrit and her beautiful new baby. In the meantime, to support the boutique one last time, hop on over for 20-80% off Ishara merch.

Here is Amrit’s bittersweet parting letter:

Ishara boutique closing in Gastown


  • Date | Until September 20th
  • Time | check for store hours
  • Location | Ishara (38 Water Street – between Abbott and Carrall)
  • Deals | 20 – 80% off the entire store!

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All Vancouver Mantique Locations Closing Soon

Mantique at Granville/Robson closed

High rents are killing our local retailers! Granville & Robson location has closed and soon the Kitsilano West 4th location will be closing too at the end of June. Clothing is marked down up to 80% and their store fixtures are on sale too. Although even with the liquidation advertisement, I didn’t find the sale prices particularly enticing.

The only  Mantique family store that will remain in Vancouver will be their in-house Sakura brand on Robson Street.  You’ll still be able to find Mantique in Metrotown and other Metro Vancouver suburbs.

It’s also not looking good that we currently cannot access their website

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Moule Opens in Yaletown, Closes Park Royal Location

Moule Yaletown storefront (from

The title says it all: Moule opens in Yaletown and closes Park Royal location. I haven’t been to the West Van store, but I can tell you I really like the Yaletown location. I kinda get lost every time I step into the West 4th store, though I do like its spaciousness. The Yaletown location officially opened its doors on Friday, April 5th, 2013, but be sure to stop by Moule on May 30th because it’s their grand opening party! Check out the flyer in the images below or go to their Facebook page to RSVP.


Filed under Events, New Store Openings, Retail News, Store Closings

Dream Relocates in Gastown

Wendy & Lindsay

On Friday, May 3rd, the little dream that could grew up. The store that was once located at 311 West Cordova moved to the former two of a few space. The store is now located near a main Gastown shopping hub where Motherland, one of a few, Rubi & Kino are situated.

For those of us who have shopped at Dream before, step foot inside the new location, and you’d find a brand new store.  There’s something about the space that’s at the junction of Water St and Cordova at a triangular peak that disrupts what you normally expect of a regular rectangular store space.

This definitely works better for owner Wendy de Kryuff, who’s enjoying the increased foot traffic from local shoppers as well as tourists. Wendy and I engaged in some industry shoptalk about the retail scene and her business. This woman can be described as incredibly passionate for her work, and I doubt there’s anyone who would disagree.

Dream has been in business for 20 years now, and for a good half of its lifetime, it’s been in somewhat of an economic downturn. Yes, there was the financial crisis of 2008, but before that there were the tech bubble and luxury bubbles of the early 2000’s and late nineties.

I just love it when local businesses take action to do whatever’s necessary to bring in business. In dream’s case, they opened themselves up to a much broader customer base by moving down a few blocks. In real estate, location is everything!

My initial reaction was that the clothes are so cute! They were also a lot more affordable than I had remembered. A lot of items on sale were at the $65 price point. They carry Allison Wonderland’s eco-fabric brand, Pillar. One of my favourite pieces, the Celeste dress, retails at $194, but for something locally made from sustainable fabric, I think it’s well worth the near two hundred dollar price tag.

An official grand opening party is in the works. Keep on the lookout for news about this stylish event.

*Updated May 23, 5pm – dream replaced the former two of a few location, not one of a few *

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Jack & Jill to Close South Granville Location

Jack & Jill - liquidation sale

The countdown is on. Jack & Jill, a mainstay fashion boutique on South Granville, has started its liquidation sale on May 1st. The sale offers customers deeply discounted fashion items at $25, $50, $75, and $100 price points. When asked a sales associate when the final days will be, she said it hasn’t been confirmed yet.


Known for their quality goods and European lines, you can also find the store in West Van, Coquitlam, and South Surrey. Otherwise, if the trek is too far for you, Madame Moje recently opened a few stores down. We’re saddened to see yet another local retail disappear from primary Vancouver shopping districts.

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Levi’s Robson Boarded Up

Levi's Robson 1

I took a stroll down Robson after sneaking into lululemon for a little bit, and noticed that the Levi’s Store all boarded up. I had my suspicions about how Levi’s managed to stay on our primary retail strip for so long, as I know very few (if any) friends who are die-hard fans of the brand. The company just failed to spark any interest in me since 15 years ago when I thought having a pair of Red Tab jeans was the coolest thing.

Levii's Robson 2

Levi’s, among other strong retailers for the nineties, have given up their Robson storefronts. Remember Tommy Hilfiger a few stores down? And even the iconic Guess brand shut down their accessories location on the corner of Robson and Thurlow. What do these retailers have in common? They all make big bucks on their denim decades ago. Levi’s being the pioneer in North America that basically changed the way the working class dress.

Since the denim strong 80’s and 90’s, premium denim took over: J Brand, 7 for All Mankind, Earnest Sewn, Rock & Republic… Now we even see Lucky Jeans and True Religion populate Metrotown with brick & mortar storefronts. What holds in the future of denim? In 2010, Rock & Republic filed for bankruptcy. Will the focus remain premium jeans or will it shift to fast fashion ($12 jeans at Forever 21)? How much will we be willing to spend on jeans?


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Forsya Boutique Packs Up Shop & Moves Online

forsya logo

In addition to LARK’s last day on Main Street last Sunday, March 17th, diagonally across the street, Forsya‘s lease was up too. Located almost diagonally across from LARK, the cute local boutique and art gallery brought in many local artists to the lower part of Main Street, including fashion designers, jewelry designers, visual artists, and more. Style by Fire was one of the first to report Forsya’s opening, and I’m sad to see yet another local retailer go!

But the on a positive note, there seems to be a trend for Vancouver boutiques to move online after their lease ends. Owner, Julie Hebb, seems to be excited, as this was posted on Forsya’s Facebook status today: “Packing up the shop…moving to our new space…online shop is in progress… new spring arrivals… ITS ALL VERY EXCITING! Can’t wait to show you! AND its SUNNY! :)” Good luck to Julie with her online ventures! We look forward to seeing the Forsya’s online edition in April.

Here’s what’s posted on Forsya’s website:

There’s BIG PLANS for the future of Forsya!
With the inevitable ending of our lease and the growing of our in house label, we’ve decided to move Forsya Boutique exclusively online!
We’ve had many wonderful years here at our Main Street location and we owe it all to our wonderful devoted customers!
Although the boutique will now be exclusively online, we will still strive for the best customer service.  We will be very hands on to help you find the best fit.  Free alterations on all regular priced items will still be offered to everyone living in Vancouver, PLUS we will still offer personal alteration services on your own items.  Our studio and showroom will be available for you to set up personal shopping appointments, we will also cater to shopping nights, studio sales and we have plans for shows and pop shops in the future!
Forsya Online will still be carrying your favourite Canadian designers, plus we have a few new ideas up our sleeves that we will announce soon!
We will be transitioning over the next couple of months so stay tuned for more information!


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Lark says Good-Bye to Main Street

Lark Closing

I heard via Marilyn that Lark, a Main Street mainstay, will be be closing its doors tomorrow :(  It wasn’t too long ago, just last Christmas, that my boyfriend’s sister-in-law got a beautiful scarf for a family member there. We all ooh-ed and ahh-ed over it, fully aware that it was the best Secret Santa gift of the bunch.

It’s sad to see our beloved retailers close, but my best wishes go to Dane & Veronika for their new adventures. Here’s what Veronika had to say on lark’s website:

“It’s been 8 or 9 years (depends on who you ask) since we  first opened our doors on 8th Ave. It was a really great run and we enjoyed getting to know our neighbours, and watching the neighbourhood evolve over the years. We have decided not to renew our lease as we are feeling adventurous, and want a break from the daily commitments of retail…
We might have a good bye party so stay tuned. To follow our adventures post Lark, Veronika will continue to update the Lark Instagramtwitter, and perhaps the blog + facebook.”
Lark closing message

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