Smaller Kelowna retailers not worried about big stores shuffling off

Sandwiched between an empty Future Shop and Target—what's next?

The abrupt shutdown of Future Shop along with the ongoing closure of Target has left the smaller businesses in Kelowna’s Orchard Plaza shopping centre in an unusual position.

They’re now sandwiched between the remains of the country’s two most recent and arguably significant retail failures, and it’s unclear what, if anything, will fill the void.

“We’re still digesting the news, too. We don’t have any names (of future tenants) we can put out there right now, but there are companies that are interested,” said Randy Lowe, chief operating officer of McIntosh properties limited, the management group for Orchard Plaza Shopping Centre, which is now left with the task with filling the empty spaces.

The management group, along with Future Shop employees, and the rest of Canada learned Saturday of the corporation’s intention to immediately shut down 66 store countrywide, while converting 65 others to Best Buy stores.

Already working to resolve the problem created by Target vacating the space, they now have double the space to market.

It’s not a challenge Lowe sees as insurmountable.

“It’s still really early for us, but we are going to market the building as it is,” he said. “There are  other businesses still thriving and looking to move into Kelowna. And there are companies that need that kind of space.”

If not, they can change the space, by dividing it up and putting in smaller businesses.

That decision, however, is a ways off.

Unlike two strip malls in West Kelowna that are also running with a high vacancy rate, Orchard Plaza remains successful, he said.

“We are well located  next door to the largest Interior mall between Kamloops and Calgary,” he said.

They’ve also done their part to find tenants that will have staying power—aside from the two aforementioned exceptions.

“We have tried to get tenants that will play off of one another,” Lowe said. “There’s Nature’s Fare and the Running Room, and other lifestyle tenants, along with our professional building that has health and wellness tenants. So hopefully people who come here will have several stops.”

It’s been successful recipe for Les Gordichuk, owner of Rocky Mountain Fitness.

“The synergy and complementariness we find comes from Natures Fare, Running Room and Source for Sports,” said Gordichuk. “Typically a customer that goes to Future Shop is on a mission, they’re a destination shop. They’re not so much, my customer.”

He said that he knows they’re good tenants, but their departure isn’t a big loss to his business.

“If Chevy’s left I’d been concerned,” Gordichuk said. “They have every mother, dad, child, soccer player, football player, basketball player, skate sharpening customer in there on a daily basis— that’s my customer.”

There is also a silver lining.

“It shows that a good independent is a good independent,” he said. “It’s not always a big national anchor that’s needed, because …. well, who would have thought?”

Future Shop’s shut down is only the latest in a series of closures in Canada that have included U.S. retail giant Target and smaller players like Sony Canada, Boutique Jacob Inc. and Mexx.

Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

Kelowna Fire Department. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Abandonded campfire results in Kelowna bushfire

The fire was measured at 20 feet by 20 feet in size and has been deemed not suspicious in nature

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Most Read