Chapters and Indigo have announced that the Vancouver flagship bookstore at Robson and Howe will be closing its doors on June 30th 2015.
The Chapters flagship retail location has fallen victim to a high rental increase for the 50,000 square feet of space over three levels of retail, including a dramatic entrance with soaring ceilings. The ground floor features a Starbucks shop-in-store, and a huge technology area. This is where Apple, Beats Audio, Kobo and a myriad of other gadgets are found. The second level features an 1,800 square foot licensed American Girl doll shop and a huge selection of non-fiction content. The store’s third level features a wide open spaces with thousands of square feet, this is primarily where the magazines, romance and YA fiction are housed.
In a statement, Indigo’s Chief Executive Officer, Heather Reisman said “As we gain great momentum with Indigo’s transformation strategy we are continuing to review all elements of our operations. With a very significant rent increase recently at our Chapters Robson store, the new terms are simply untenable for us to stay in that location. An increase of this magnitude would quite simply make this vibrant, profitable store unprofitable. As a result, we are actively pursuing another location to serve the Robson trade area which we fully intend to open in 2015. In other key markets we are also looking at new real estate opportunities for Indigo that will best serve our unique needs.”
It is highly unlikely that the closing of the Chapters flagship bookstore in downtown Vancouver will result in any big deals. Instead, the existing stock will be sent to existing bookstores in the Lower Mainland, such as Metrotown, Lougheed Mall, Surrey’s Strawberry Hill, Coquitlam’s Pinetree Village and Langley. All of the rest will be sent to the main Candian distribution center for processing.
The Granville and Broadway Chapters bookstore will benefit the most from the downtown location closing. It isn’t too far away and will see a dramatic increase in book buyers.
So what will happen to the prime piece of real estate when Chapters moves out? Business In Vancouver says it has received confirmation that FGL Sports is taking over the lease. This company operates Sport Chek and Atmosphere.