Can't wait to shop? These are the downtown Vancouver stores that are now open
VANCOUVER -- If shopping is part of your long weekend plans, you’re in luck. Several large clothing stores reopened on Robson Street Friday.
"The minute we closed, we started putting preparations into how we would open," said Brian Hill, the CEO of Vancouver-based clothing company Aritzia. "We’re ready to welcome everybody back to our retail stores."
When Aritzia’s flagship store on Robson Street opened its doors Friday morning, it had limitations on how many shoppers could be inside at one time. Only every other fitting room is open, and they’re throughly cleaned after each customer.
"All the clothing is going to be sanitized as it comes out of the fitting room," said Hill.
The Roots store on Robson Street also opened on Friday with customer limits and a new cleaning protocol, but it has a different approach for fitting rooms.
"For the time being, we’re not going to have our fitting rooms open," said Roots interim CEO Meghan Roach. "We decided for our customers and our employees it's easier for us to allow them to get used to new protocols and procedures until we open fitting rooms."
Both stores will quarantine returned items for 72 hours, and staff will wear face masks.
"We’ve been making masks at our Toronto factory, so all of our staff will have Roots masks, which will be fantastic," said Roach. Masks for customers are voluntary.
Other Robson Street stores that opened on Friday included Zara and Plenty. The Nike store planned to open on Sunday.
"I do anticipate we are going to see a lot of openings between Friday and the end of the month," said Teri Smith with the Robson Street Business Association. But it's unclear how many customers will come.
"Typically Robson Street benefits from tourism. Right now would be the peak of our tourist season, and we don’t have that this year," said Smith. "We’re going to really have to rely on our locals and the support they can provide to our businesses."
But Roots’ interim CEO thinks local customers will come.
"We’re lucky because we have a product category that I think is in high demand right now," said Roach. "As a Canadian staple in the sweat space, I’m hoping we will have some good demand."
Several Roots mall locations including Pacific Centre, Metrotown, Guildford and Park Royal opened Friday as well.
Hill says when Aritzia stores reopened in Winnipeg last week, he was surprised how many customers came. So he’s optimistic for store openings in Metro Vancouver. "Hopefully we have a high-class problem and people are lined up and they want it to come in."