Shoppers in central Coquitlam were surprised to find one of the mall’s flagship stores suddenly closed on Saturday.
The doors remained locked at the Hudson’s Bay Company on Sunday, with a notice saying “we are closed until further notice.”
A separate letter, issued by owner Pensionfund Realty Limited, said the store’s lease had been terminated “for failure to pay rent”.
Penticton Mall and Bay involved in pandemic rent dispute
He adds that the department store has 30 days to dispute the defect.
In an emailed statement, Hudson’s Bay Company spokesperson Tiffany Bourr said the retailer was working with owners across North America to “amicably and logically share the losses suffered. during this ongoing pandemic ”.
“We believe there are fair solutions to be found as we recover from this public health crisis. In this case, we are eager to reach a fair resolution, just as we have done with other owner partners. “
Toronto-area Hudsons Bay employees receive pay cut, then are laid off
Dig360’s retail consultant David Ian Gray said The Bay is feeling the same pressure as many retailers as the pandemic accelerates the changes and challenges the industry is already feeling.
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“They are very heavy,” he says.
“(A lot of people) think, ‘yes, but we all shop online now,’ but the truth is that online sales don’t make up for lost physical in-store sales, especially with non-essential sales like fashion from bustling retailers. “
The company has been in court with several landlords across the country, after allegedly failing to pay rent for the past seven months.
In Penticton, the company is embroiled in a legal battle with the Cherry Lane shopping center.
READ MORE:HBC coronavirus sues Yorkdale owner Square One alleging inability to run first-class shopping malls
The mall alleges the company owes more than half a million dollars in unpaid rent and has served The Bay with a notice of termination and a request to vacate the premises.
But in its own civil lawsuit against the Penticton owner, the company says the mall has failed to make significant improvements to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the mall.
With files from Jules Knox
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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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