Japanese fashion chain Uniqlo plans to open its second Metro Vancouver location at Surrey’s Guildford Town Centre, the company announced on its Facebook page.
“Hey Surrey, we’re excited to announce that Uniqlo is coming to the Guildford Town Centre spring 2018! Stay tuned for more opening updates,” Uniqlo Canada said in the post.
The news comes less than a month after the 1,900-store chain opened its first Metro Vancouver location at Burnaby’s Metropolis at Metrotown.
Uniqlo CEO Tadashi Yanai told Business in Vancouver last month through a translator that he wanted to open his company’s first Canadian store in downtown Vancouver, but Uniqlo operatives could not find appropriate space for the right price, so they opened the 20,630-square-foot store in Burnaby.
He added that if his company were to open a downtown Vancouver stores that his preference would be for a streetfront location, compared with one in a mall.
Retail Insider Media owners and retail analyst Craig Patterson told BIV that conversations with parties involved with the lease confirmed that Uniqlo’s plan for its Guildford store is to take 18,000 square feet on the mall’s second level.
The corner retail space is partly contained within an expansion corridor, with the store being next to the GAP on one side and across from Old Navy on the other, Patterson said.
“Surrey is a growing community and Guildford is one of Canada’s most productive malls with $875 in sales per square foot,” he said. “It’s certainly one of the top malls in the Lower Mainland.”
Guildford also went through a substantial renovation in recent years.
The space that Uniqlo plans to take in Guildford is also a corner location, meaning that it will have prominent frontage inside the mall, Patterson said.
The store will not be accessible from the outside of the mall but there could be some signage, he added.
“It’s a shame that a downtown Vancouver location hasn’t yet been secured but it’s a challenge in Vancouver to find large retail spaces for retailers,” he said. “We would expect at some point for Uniqlo to move into downtown Vancouver.”