South Delta businesses brace for opening of new mega-mall
'Mom and pop' shops fear Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre will put a dent in their profits
Many small business owners in south Delta expect to take a hit when a massive shopping centre opens next month on the Tsawwassen First Nation land near Highway 17 and 52 Ave.
Tsawwassen Mills, which opens October 5, will be comprised of about 200 stores including Harry Rosen and DSW Shoe Warehouse.
Tsawwassen Commons, which is right across the street, has major box stores like Walmart and Canadian Tire.
"For the first couple of months, everyone will want to go down there and check it out," said Luke Voden, whose family has owned a gift shop in Tsawwassen for 24 years.
"We're expecting a little bit of an impact, but hopefully it's only for the first little while and then our customers will come back."
Many independent stores along 56 Ave. are planning sales and events in October and November to attract shoppers.
"It's going to be interesting," said Marleen Flumerfelt who owns a gift shop and a toy store in Tsawwassen.
"Everybody is going to do their best to provide really good service to our customers. I'd expect there will be many reduced sales, especially over Christmas, because of our new neighbours."
Janet Van Bruksvoort, who runs a boutique clothing shop, said she's going to compete with the new mall by being unique.
"I've heard it for the last 17 years, people say I've been to Metrotown and I've been to Richmond Centre and I couldn't find anything so I'm coming back to you," she said.
"They're asking me if I'm worried. I'm not. I feel like I've built up customer rapport and I know what people want. I feel everybody is probably going to test it out for the first three to six months.