Orchard Plaza Mall gets lively infusion from new tenants

Orchard Plaza Mall may have found a winner, or three, if the recent line-ups at grand openings for its new tenants are any indication.

Orchard Plaza Mall may have found a winner, or three, if the recent line-ups at grand openings for its new tenants are any indication.

People showed up in droves to Steve Nash fitness when it opened two weeks ago, then Friday when Lee Valley tools there was a line-up 50 strong before doors even opened. Mountain Equipment Co-Op is expected to bring in a similarly large group of customers this Saturday.

The difference between what they and Target and Future Shop bring to the community may simply lie in knowing their clientele.

Jason Tasse, chief operating officer for Lee Valley Tools, was at the opening of the gardening, woodworking and kitchen oriented store, and he explained they’ve been eyeing Kelowna as a potential new location for operations for some time.

“We already have a fantastic customer base in the Okanagan of 25,000 people,” he said.

That number, he explained, has been tallied by using both in-store information capture and through the catalogue market.

“Also, the other reason why we’ve come to Kelowna, is that Kelowna has been one of the most vocal in Canada at requesting a store,” he said. “We get phone calls and emails, saying ‘please come to Kelowna.'”

Beyond those cutovers, the city’s population matches

customer profile match.

There are a good number of hobbyists and gardeners in the valley, and they were at the opening Friday.

“We  usually have a line up when we open, but this has been a tremendous response, especially because this is a workday,” he said. “The welcome to Kelowna has been overwhelming.”

The store is Canadian and started in Ottawa 38 years ago. Kelowna’s is the 17th.