This week Pink Tiger is honoured to have Julie Beun as our Guest Blogger, and this is what she has to say:
One by one, they fell.
And one by one, they left behind a gaping hole in Canada’s fashion scene.
Over four short months late last year, multiple fashion retailers packed up their pucks and skates and went back south of the border.
First came Sears Canada, went it announced in October 2014 that it would sell off most of its stake and cut 2200 employees. That month, Jacob—the iconic Montreal women’s retailer founded in 1977—threw in the towel on its restructuring efforts and chose instead to close 92 stores across Canada.
A month later, both Smart Set and Sears Canada—admittedly, never brightly shining fashion lightbulbs, but good, steady purveyors of the standards—also announced they were pulling up stakes, with Sears cutting 2200 employees and Smart Set converting 76 locations into its other banners, including Reitmans, Penningtons, Addition Elle, RW&Co and Thyme Maternity.
By December 2014, numb retailers barely blinked when Dutch-owned Mexx filed for bankruptcy. The loss of Holt Renfrew in Ottawa and Quebec City—whilst devastating to local fashionistas—hardly rated a fluttering eyelash.
Where does it all end? Truthfully, the vacuum created by those major retailers (and Target) does speak volumes about the health of the retail industry and luxury goods in particular.
“There’s a whole list of retailers who’ve gone under,” says Ron White, luxury shoe designer and CPF (Close Personal Friend) to Laureen Harper, Lisa Tant and Jeanne Beker. “What’s happening is that more than 1000 stores in Canada have closed, restructured or refinanced.”
So what’s next? In a word, e-marketplaces.
After all, when one big fashion ship sinks, it creates a hole. And in that space will exist e-commerce sites like Pink Tiger.
With hundreds of hot new designers and established couturiers already signed up, fashion lovers can get everything they want, in the size they want, shipped directly to their house (or the PO Box, if the hubby doesn’t need to know).
“When one door closes, a window opens,” notes Pink Tiger owner, Sue Norton. “The plight of the big fashion retailers is dire, but it just creates an opportunity for Pink Tiger customers to buy unique, often one-of pieces no one else has.”
So RIP Mexx and Sears. And move over. Pink Tiger has arrived.
Julie Beun, CEO