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The Retail Apocalypse

Locations of the Godiva stores closing in Canada:


The standalone Godiva stores to close are located in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Manitoba. The seven Ontario stores include four Toronto stores: CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, CF Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre; two Ottawa stores: CF Rideau Centre and Tanger Outlets; and a Mississauga location at the Square One shopping centre. In British Columbia, Godiva has stores at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby as well as at CF Richmond Centre in Richmond. In Quebec, Godiva operates a store at CF Carrefour Laval near Montreal. In Manitoba, Godiva operates a store at the CF Polo Park shopping centre.
 
TORONTO - Hudson's Bay Co. is permanently laying off more than 600 workers across Canada amid ongoing store closures due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

Tiffany Bourre, a spokeswoman for the iconic retailer, says nearly half the company's department stores remain temporarily closed.

She says due to circumstances beyond HBC's control, the company has had to make adjustments.


Bourre adds that HBC is committed to treating each individual affected with fairness and respect during these difficult times.

Yet employment lawyer Lior Samfiru says his firm has been contacted by about 40 HBC workers concerned about the terms of their termination.

Samfiru, a partner with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, says the employees have received a so-called working notice, which means they are expected to work until the termination date.

Yet he calls such a notice when stores aren't open and employees can't work “absurd,” and says HBC should be providing payment in lieu of notice.

He suggests that terminated workers are not being offered proper severance, and is alleging wrongful dismissal.

Samfiru says the workers, both part-time and full-time, have worked for the retailer for between 10 and 30 years, predominantly in sales and middle management at stores in the Toronto area, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver.

He says some workers have mentioned specifically a “national restructuring.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2021.
 
I wonder how the loss of so much retail and restaurants will affect Toronto real estate prices. Vibrant main streets and proximity to trendy restaurants and shopping make a lot of Toronto neighbourhoods, particularly in the older parts of the city, attractive and desirable.

Main streets of vacant storefronts tend to become rundown and ugly, making the surrounding neighbourhoods less attractive. Investors start renting to less desirable tenants.

At the start of the pandemic, it seemed very temporary. But now, it's clear we won't even see significant levels of vaccination until September. The vaccines aren't 100% effective either. The deleterious economic effects of the pandemic on our main streets might drag on for a while.
 
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I wonder how the loss of so much retail and restaurants will affect Toronto real estate prices. Vibrant main streets and proximity to trendy restaurants and shopping make a lot of Toronto neighbourhoods, particularly in the older parts of the city, attractive and desirable.

Main streets of vacant storefronts tend to become rundown and ugly, making the surrounding neighbourhoods less attractive. Investors start renting to less desirable tenants.

At the start of the pandemic, it seemed very temporary. But now, it's clear we won't even see significant levels of vaccination until September. The vaccines aren't 100% effective either. The deleterious economic effects of the pandemic on our main streets might drag on for a while.

Hard to say.

The real estate market is very hot right now, and I'd imagine once we get this under control the commercial vacancy rate will plummet.

I believe the city will bounce back fairly quickly when it's all said and done.
 
I believe the city will bounce back fairly quickly when it's all said and done.
Yeah, maybe in a general sense there's no doubt about it, but as we're already seeing it'll all be Popeyes and weed shops instead of cool pubs.


....and that kind of city may as well just fall off into the lake.
 
Yeah, maybe in a general sense there's no doubt about it, but as we're already seeing it'll all be Popeyes and weed shops instead of cool pubs.


....and that kind of city may as well just fall off into the lake.

There will be plenty of landlords with spaces to fill and pent up demand.

Local closures have been awful, but I don't doubt there will be a wave of local restaurants opening after the pandemic.
 
Local closures have been awful, but I don't doubt there will be a wave of local restaurants opening after the pandemic.

In the medium-term I have no doubt. In the short-term though? I think the next up to 5 years is going to be bleak.
 
Agreed. Toronto is already dramatically more boring than it was in the 90's.

Yeah, it legit has not much going for it anymore. I don't care about "ethnic food"....is salmon available? Is rice? Veggies? Ok, I'm good.

What I care about is a decent pub to use as a community space, a football ground to go to, and a good rave here and there.

3 of my fav community space pubs are forever closed, so that's out the window.
The football ground has been and will be closed for who knows how long.
The raves ain't what they used to be.
And music venues in general are dying off.

So, pubs and music venues to be replaced with pretentious restaurants and "ethnic food--oh, look how diverse we are!" and chains of banal bullshit a la Popeyes.

Yeah, cool story, tell it again.
 
I wonder how long it will take for the retail units in all the new construction to filter down to recent-immigrant restaurants, etc. instead of Shoppers Drug Mart and Cash Money. Ten or twenty years?
 
I wonder how long it will take for the retail units in all the new construction to filter down to recent-immigrant restaurants, etc. instead of Shoppers Drug Mart and Cash Money. Ten or twenty years?

You're assuming it will.

Well, I see you include a 20 year forecast which is probably what it would be, if ever.
 
I have to think we are getting oversaturated in these chains and eventually some of them are going to abandon underperforming space, creating toe-holds for something less banal. It happened in a lot of the older strip malls in the suburbs, why not in newer developments after the initial leases expire?
 
Yeah, it legit has not much going for it anymore. I don't care about "ethnic food"....is salmon available? Is rice? Veggies? Ok, I'm good.

What I care about is a decent pub to use as a community space, a football ground to go to, and a good rave here and there.

3 of my fav community space pubs are forever closed, so that's out the window.
The football ground has been and will be closed for who knows how long.
The raves ain't what they used to be.
And music venues in general are dying off.

So, pubs and music venues to be replaced with pretentious restaurants and "ethnic food--oh, look how diverse we are!" and chains of banal bullshit a la Popeyes.

Yeah, cool story, tell it again.

Why not say what you really want to say?
 
I think he likes the basics--meat and potatoes. That's fine. I have friends that I go to Montreal with every now and then that only want to eat at The Keg. 😢
 

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